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HP's Joshi Inks Big Deal With Staples5/2/2006
New York - Vyomesh "VJ" Joshi, Hewlett-Packard's senior vice president of the lucrative Imaging and Printing group, likes to think big.
In a wide-format print service deal announced this morning with office supply super chain Staples (nasdaq: SPLS - news - people ), Joshi's big-picture thinking spans 60 inches. The ultra-wide printer, the Designjet 5500 UV, which prints very large banners and signs, and a slightly smaller 42-inch model are now available at limited Staples' digital copying locations. Additionally, HP's (nyse: HPQ - news - people )' Designjet 130nr 24-inch-wide format printers have been installed at the stores' 1,250 copy and printer centers.
HP hasn't been coy about its pursuit of the wide-format printing (printers above 24 inches) market. In November, the imaging giant paid $230 million for Scitex Vision, a leader in this specialized niche market (See: " Hurd's HP Vision Clearer: Scitex Asset Buy Finalized" ).
Then in January, the company narrowed in on a particularly profitable niche within the wide-format market, introducing several new outdoor-ready models that make weather-resistant billboards and car wraps. (See: " HP's New Outdoor-Printer Colors Won't Run")
It's no wonder. the annual retail value of the wide-format market is about $30 billion. That kind of money could make a nice side dish to HP's annual $88 billion revenue.
As consumer and business printer hardware sales begin to plateau, the company has been looking around for other markets, including emerging countries and niche industrial markets, like wide format. The company has traditionally made its profit from sales of after-market consumables--like ink and toner--and after all, big printers use lots of ink. Ultimately, that's where Joshi's wide format plans pay off big.