Ricoh and Toshiba Merge to Create Top Player in Printer Copier Market

by Copier Guru on June 10, 2023

    The office printing industry is undergoing significant changes due to the rise of remote work and the shift towards paperless offices. In response to these market dynamics, Ricoh and Toshiba have recently decided to combine their production capabilities in printers, copiers, and other office machines. This strategic merger is set to create the world's most significant player in the industry, surpassing Canon, and is expected to prompt similar arrangements among other competitors. In this blog post, we will explore the implications of this deal and its relevance to the evolving landscape of office technology.

Ricoh Copiers


  1. The Rise of Remote Work and Declining Demand: The remote work trend, accelerated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a decline in the demand for office printing and copying. As more businesses embrace digital workflows and paperless operations, the need for traditional printing solutions has diminished. This shift has put office machine manufacturers in a challenging position, prompting them to seek innovative strategies to adapt and thrive in this evolving market.

  2. Ricoh and Toshiba's Partnership:  Ricoh and Toshiba, well-established office equipment industry players, have joined forces to address the changing market demands. The partnership involves merging their manufacturing operations into a single company, with Ricoh holding a majority stake. By combining their technologies and expertise, the companies aim to enhance their competitiveness and achieve cost savings through streamlined operations. This strategic move marks the first integration of production between rival office equipment manufacturers, signaling a potential trend within the industry.

  3. Market Leadership and Global Impact: With Ricoh and Toshiba's merger, the integrated company is poised to become the leading player in the multifunction printer market, overtaking Canon. Ricoh already holds a significant market share, and Toshiba's inclusion will further bolster its position. This consolidation of market power could influence the strategies and operations of other office machine manufacturers, potentially leading to similar collaborations or restructuring efforts.

  4. Embracing Technological Advancements: An office machine manufacturer's competitiveness hinges on effectively combining chemical, optical, and machinery technologies. Japanese manufacturers like Canon, Konica Minolta, and Fujifilm Business Innovation currently dominate over 80% of the global market. As the industry adapts to changing demands, technology integration becomes paramount. Ricoh and Toshiba's partnership allows for the pooling resources and expertise, facilitating the development of innovative and technologically advanced office machines.

  5. Restructuring and Future Prospects: The decline in demand for office printing and copying has resulted in excess capacity within the industry. Ricoh and Toshiba plan to leverage their merger to encourage other companies to join the newly formed entity. Additionally, they envision the integrated company becoming a potential home for spun-off office machine production operations as Japanese manufacturers seek to restructure and optimize their operations for the evolving market landscape.

   Ricoh and Toshiba's decision to merge their production capabilities in the office printer and copier market reflects the industry's response to the challenges posed by remote work and the trend toward paperless offices. By combining resources and expertise, the two companies aim to become the leading player in the multifunction printer market, driving innovation and cost savings through streamlined operations. This partnership sets a precedent for potential collaborations among other office machine manufacturers as they seek to navigate the changing market dynamics and capitalize on technological advancements.