“Dell Inc. has always prided itself on its online-only business model, the core component of a lean corporate structure that, for years, allowed the company to underprice and take sales away from its competitors,” Mike Musgrove reports for The Washington Post. “So it came as some surprise last week after the world’s largest computer maker, which has started to lose some ground in the marketplace, said it will open two stores, in shopping malls in Dallas and West Nyack, N.Y. These stores, however, aren’t typical cash-and-carry retail outlets. Visitors who decide they want Dell products will still have to go online and buy them through the company’s Web site.”
“It’s an approach to the retail market that has caused some chuckles among Silicon Valley types. Tech pundit Tim Bajarin said retail shoppers prefer the sort of instant gratification that comes from walking out of a store with a heavy shopping bag. ‘How would you feel if you went into a flower store to buy flowers and couldn’t walk out with them?’ Bajarin said,” Musgrove reports. “The move is an extension of the company’s 160 kiosks in malls and airports, which the company calls Dell Direct Stores. Dell hasn’t determined whether tech support will be available to customers through the two locations. IDC analyst Matt Eastwood called the stores ‘a classic Dell experiment. One area where Dell has been really struggling is in the consumer space, and this is definitely a response to that,” he said. “But I don’t know how you can run a retail store without carrying some inventory.'”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tommy Boy” for the link.]
MacDailyNews Take: This classic Dell experiment has “failure” stamped all over it.
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Dell to open retail stores – May 22, 2006