Beleaguered Dell puts the kibosh on all 140 U.S. mall kiosks

Beleaguered Dell today announced that it will close its 140 kiosks in the United States.

MacDailyNews Take: It’ll be a joy to walk through the malls on our way to the Apple Stores without having to negotiate around Dell’s empty aisle-hogging eyesores.

The Dell Direct Store model, which began in 2002, enabled customers to touch and try Dell products before purchasing systems direct from the company. Why anyone bought after that experience is beyond us. Maybe they didn’t; hence, the suddenly kiosk-less U.S.

“Moving into retail is a prime example of Dell listening to its customers,” said Tony Weiss, vice president for Dell’s Global Consumer business, in the press release. “Ever since we began our journey into retail, we wanted to give customers the opportunity to call, click, or visit Dell and have access to our award-winning products. This move fits in with how our broad global retail strategy is evolving.”

Dell Inc. likes to say that they “listen to customers and deliver innovative technology and services they trust and value,” yet we can find no proof of these things anywhere. Dell assembles boxes that are OS-limited, rely on third-party operating systems that often add their own frustrating issues, and Dell’s PCs are a waste of money compared to Apple’s OS-unlimited Macs. If dime-a-dozen Dell closed up their entire shop today, nobody outside of their employ would care.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, Mikey, you’ve shut the kiosks down, but are you going to give the money you’ve saved back to the shareholders?

48 Comments

  1. Is anyone surprised by this when Dell’s retail model of customers going into the stores, trying out the PCs, and then not being able to take one home with them when they decide to buy it is totally flawed?

    There’s no sense of satisfaction in Dells ‘try in-store, delivered to your door’ model – when I buy a PC in store I WANT IT NOW!

  2. Now we must burn them and salt the earth underneath. And we must mark this day and return every year hence to warn all future generations of the plight of the damned. Yea, it shall be written so just as the skies blacken and the seas boil with fury and condemnation. Witness, the Dearth Mall.

  3. I’m thinking on starting an internet provider service.

    To avail yourself of this service I’ve decided on a marketing plan that allows you take time out from your day, drive down to the local (or not so local) mall, look at the internet, admire it, play with it, but not be able to purchase a monthly program to sign up your home for access to the internet. To actually sign up, you have to go home and sign up online. Or, you could go to the local Apple Store and access the net there… just not at my kiosk.

    What do you think – is this flawed?

    (blinking eyelashes vapidly)

  4. @Bartsimpsonhead – Gateway made the same assumption, with the same result. It obviously costs more to stock a store with inventory; Gateway and Dell both gambled that their stores/kiosks would be cheap enough without inventory to compensate. It would have been a nice idea if it had worked. Much like the idea of simply asking everyone who passes you on the street for a hundred dollars, and getting it.

  5. “Much like the idea of simply asking everyone who passes you on the street for a hundred dollars, and getting it.”

    ANOTHER great business plan, can I use it?

    (More eyelash blinking – hmmmmm should I dye my hair blonde?)

  6. The problem was…

    …as I hear it from a friend of a friend inside Dell…

    …is that Dell’s kiosks looked pathetic compared to the crowds at the Apple Store’s and was harming Dell’s image in the marketplace.

    Retail marketing is tricky, empty stores don’t lure more customers in. No matter how low the price is.

    Apple had a trick for awhile to get customers waiting in line for a operating system advance. They emailed previous Apple customers and offered a 10% across the store discount on the night of a OS release. Just to get people standing in line and create headlines.

    Of course I didn’t see this happen for Lepoard.

    Did it?

  7. “Well, Mikey, you’ve shut the kiosks down, but are you going to give the money you’ve saved back to the shareholders?”

    Shareholders? PAH! Dell has to fund quite a few golden parachutes especially Mike’s.

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