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Tipping point of cost

Georgia Pacific released the enMotion touch-free paper towel dispenser in 2003 and I remember first seeing one in the wild in about mid 2004. In the last couple of years, based on my anecdotal observation, that type of device is becoming a standard fixture in a majoenMotion[1]rity of public restrooms and by April 2009, they'd sold 1,000,000 boxes of towels. (Standard caveat - I am not everyone and don't visit everywhere.)

Lacking good data on a) penetration rate and b) price trends in that industry, the following statement is entirely conjecture but should be testable.

The list price for a standard dispenser is now about $70 which is actually much lower than I would have guessed. I suspect that one or two things has likely happened: the cost has become neutral or value positive, and/or GP has struck distribution deals with servicing companies like ABM to push the new technology into the mainstream.

I haven't dug into the company reports to see whether the break out of information is in there although some of it may be. Nor have I yet found a good source of historic market price trends for specific items (e.g. 'what was the typical market cost of SKU X on 4/14/2004?') although that would be an awesome resource to have in exploring patterns like this.