MAULDIN, S.C. — Bi-Lo here has partnered with Cartridge City, Indianapolis, to expand the companies' initial cartridge refill test market to five additional markets.
The test, run in 22 Bi-Lo stores in the Chattanooga, Tenn., area, lets customers drop off empty ink and toner cartridges and pick them up the next day through Cartridge City's refill service.
Bi-Lo stores in Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson, S.C., and Asheville and Charlotte, N.C., are the first to offer the service outside of the test market. The companies are planning to offer the service in all 300 Bi-Lo and Bruno's banner stores by early August.
“During the testing, we found the service to be convenient for our customers, since an increasing number have home printers,” said Joyce Smart, spokeswoman for Bi-Lo. “Instead of having to go to a separate location to purchase a new cartridge, our customers find savings and one-stop shopping.”
“From Cartridge City's standpoint, grocery has a good footprint in most markets, and we know we are convenient like them,” said Aaron Knight, president of Cartridge City. “The advantage for them is an additional service to offer existing customers and the ability to attract some new business as well.”
Chainwide introductory prices range from $9.99 to $14.99; at regular rates, refills for black cartridges are $9.99 to $15.99, depending on the complexity and size of the cartridge. Color refills range from $14.99 to $21.99. “The typical savings compared to buying a new cartridge is 50% to 80% off retail,” Knight said.
The Cartridge City drop-off point will be located in the customer-service area of the supermarkets, Knight said. “Bi-Lo employees interface with customers, while our employees pick up the empties, run routes to our refill centers and return the filled cartridges,” he said.
Cartridge City services all brands of ink cartridges. According to the company, most cartridges can be remanufactured an average of 10 times, depending on the type of cartridge and how well it has been taken care of. Cartridge City also has locations in stores of the Supervalu division Scott's Food & Pharmacy, Fort Wayne, Ind.