In a move aimed at boosting its sales, leading American Personal Computer manufacturer Dell announced its products would be sold through retailer Best Buy making it the third retailer for selling its products across the U.S.
Dell will offer its XPS and Inspiron notebook and desktop models at 900 Best Buy outlets across the country, it said but declined to give the financial terms of the partnership..
The Round Rock, Texas, company had entered into an agreement with Wal Mart and more recently with the office supplies chain Staples.
“Dell is clearly one of the most popular and successful PC companies, and their addition to our retail and online selection gives Best Buy customers unprecedented choice,” said Best Buy Vice President Dave Morrish.
With Best Buy in the fold, Dell now sells its machines through almost 10,000 outlets worldwide. This represents a dramatic shift in focus for a company that built its reputation and its onetime world-leading market share on the strength of a direct sales model that relied on selling only through the Internet and telephone to keep costs — and consumer prices — low.
The effort is a global one, with Dell also partnering with retailers such as Gome in China, Europe’s Carrefour, Singapore chain Court, Bic Camera in Japan and the Carphone Warehouse in the UK. The Wal-Mart deal includes outlets in Canada, Brazil and Mexico as well as the U.S.
Dell’s Best Buy offerings will begin with a relatively small selection of black and white notebooks and its XPS One desktop, the PC maker said. Additional models and colours will be made available in coming months, the companies said.
Dell’s machines will have plenty of company on Best Buy’s shelves. Already being sold there are PCs from several of its main rivals, including HP which now holds the market-share crown Dell once claimed — as well as Lenovo and Taiwan’s Acer.
Dell has also launched a new channel sales programme through a partnership with Salesforce.com, its first sizable embrace of third-party resellers aimed to boost its business sales much like retail is aimed to expand its exposure to consumers.
While Dell’s initial retail efforts were somewhat limited and targeted — it is making custom machines available in Wal-Mart stores and Staples’ is a more of a specialty retailer — the Best Buy deal leaves no doubt it is going all-in on retail, said Gartner analyst Martin Reynolds.