Epson invests in warehouse, showroom in SA
Japanese printer and projector maker Epson has opened its first local warehouse facility in Linbro Park, which it says will cut delivery times to distributors from more than a month to a week.
However, in an e-mail interview with ITWeb, Timothy Thomas, national sales manager at Epson South Africa, did not disclose how much the electronics company invested in the new facility.
According to Thomas, the warehouse is a 4.5 square kilometre facility in the new logistics development at Ashworth Logistics Park.
The company also unveiled its large format printer (LFP) showroom, a 300 square metre facility.
“These are sizeable long-term investments into the growth of Epson within Southern Africa,” Thomas says.
“This is a milestone achievement for Epson and a huge leap forward in improving our logistics infrastructure. We were previously only able to deliver stock in six to seven weeks, but now we can do so in just six to seven days.”
In the printer market, Epson competes against HP, Canon, Ricoh, Samsung, Konica Minolta, Hitachi, Zebra Technologies and Lexmark International.
According to a recent Research and Markets report, the global printer market is expected to grow from $132.41 billion in 2020 to $144.62 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 9.2%.
It says the growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges.
Epson notes the new warehouse will reduce costs for distributors, which can now have products delivered straight to their warehouses.
It notes the warehouse currently houses 80% of Epson’s product range, but the team aims to have it fully stocked with a complete selection of products by early 2022.
Epson has also opened a dedicated LFP showroom in Linbro Park that showcases existing and upcoming commercial LFP ranges, including photo, signage, technical design, textile, sublimation and direct-to-garment printers.
With LFP being a highly technical and specialist industry, Epson notes the new showroom emulates industrial environments, allowing channel partners and customers to experience Epson’s products first-hand.
The showroom can also be used for active demonstrations and to host training sessions for end-users, dealers and distributors.
“We envision our new warehouse and LFP showroom to be welcoming environments where customers and distributors can interact with our products, and our partners can optimise their and our growth stories,” says Thomas.
He adds that consumer home printing represents Epson’s biggest short-term opportunity, as the company targets home users with its EcoTank printing solutions.
However, he says, Epson remains committed to growing the inkjet technology within the corporate and enterprise space.
“With large numbers of people still currently working from home, the corporate environment is challenging in the short-term. However, we are seeing great new avenues opening; particularly within the medical field, transport and financial sectors.”
Thomas explains that Epson has a number of key distribution partners, which have been part of the company’s ecosystem for a number of years already and will continue to be in the long-term.
“We have recently signed an exclusive distribution agreement for Epson business imaging products with Mustek in South Africa. Mustek has been a long-term partner of Epson’s and this partnership will now allow for greater focus and aligned to opportunities in the future.”