Xerox Corp. today announced its exit from the SOHO (small office/home office) business market. The company said that over the next six months, it would discontinue its line of personal inkjet and xerographic products. Xerox said that it would continue to provide service, support and supplies for those devices, however.
Xerox chairman and CEO Paul A. Allaire said that the move has been made to enable Xerox to focus on core office and production growth opportunities, as part of an overall turnaround strategy.
“While Xerox was engaged in active discussions with potential equity partners, the slowdown in the economy and its impact on the PC and SOHO markets prevented these companies from making what was once considered a compelling investment in Xerox’s SOHO business,” said Allaire.
Xerox president and COO Anne M. Mulcahy said that the exit from the SOHO market would enable Xerox to save money, which she hopes will enable them to return to profitability before year’s end. Mulcahy added that Xerox’s data shows that inkjet sales are dropping and are continuing to slow down — the company recorded an US$82 million loss on its SOHO business for the first quarter of the year, with similar losses expected this quarter.
Xerox’s SOHO products included the USB-based multipurpose WorkCenter peripherals and DocuPrint series of inkjet printers.
Xerox said that this decision doesn’t affect its other interests, such as color printing and imaging, and monochrome printers, xerographic devices and other products used in corporate environments.
Xerox will continue to operate service and support centers for SOHO products. Xerox’s SOHO R&D has been discontinued, however, and the company is also “beginning consultation” with employee worker councils in Europe to figure out what to do with its SOHO European business, including its inkjet manufacturing facility in Dundalk, Ireland.