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Supermarkets are staking out a place in the burgeoning home office market.

Xerox Corp. is teaming with supermarket chains for specially designed Xerox Document Centers, an aisle featuring Xerox Office Basics.

The Office Basics line of home office supplies includes copier and fax paper, self-stick notes and computer diskettes.

"As we look at the number of home offices and the projections over the next four to five years that home offices will skyrocket, we see a need for consumers to access home office supplies in a convenient way. The supermarket channel-it doesn't get any easier than that," said Ed Gala, manager-public relations programs at Xerox.

The Document Center made its debut last July in Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets and now is also in some stores operated by Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh, and Dillon Food Stores, Hutchinson, Kan.

The Denver-based King Soopers chain will install the centers in about 20 stores, and Food Gallery, Pittsburgh, will also carry the line in four stores, said Gerry Toscani, president of Signature Corp., Marlton, N.J., a privately held supplies acquisition and distribution company in which Xerox holds a minority interest. Signature manages the Xerox Document Center initiative.

"The early results are encouraging ... The Xerox effort is the first comprehensive effort to capture the home office market," Mr. Toscani said.

Art Siemering, publisher of Trend/Wire, a newsletter that forecasts food and consumer trends, said: "I haven't heard of anyone else doing it, but I bet it's destined to be widely emulated."

Jo Natale, coordinator of consumer services at Wegmans, said: "One of our focuses is delivering quality products in a convenient location at a good price. [The agreement with Xerox] enabled us to extend one-stop shopping to people with office supply needs. Based on what we know, it is an important market and a growing market. We believe it is an underserved market."

Wegmans markets the Xerox line through advertised and in-store specials; store demonstrations; sampling of self-stick notes and envelopes; and sweepstakes promotions in conjunction with Xerox, Ms. Natale said.

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