Thursday, January 31, 2008

On Wednesday Dell announced the shutdown of retail kiosks

http://www.sfgate.com/blogs/images/sfgate/techchron/2006/03/16/DELL_209_fl.JPG


Dell had over 140 kiosks, called Dell Direct stores, for customers to buy products, including PCs, TVs and printers. Dell representatives staffed the kiosks and assisted buyers in choosing products and placing orders. The kiosks didn't actually carry inventory so products were shipped to buyers.

"We started offering Dell systems through retailers about six months ago, and now customers can buy Dell desktops and laptops through more than 10,000 retail outlets worldwide," Menchaca wrote.

The needs for kiosks declined as retail stores provide more accessibility to Dell products, said Dell spokesman David Frink. The kiosks, introduced in 2002, are being closed immediately, Frink said.

The shutdown might lead to laying off employees who staffed the kiosks, Frink said. He declined to comment on an exact number of layoffs and charges that the company might take relating to the shutdown.

http://dodevice.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/dell_logo_new_emea.jpg

Dell has expanded its in-store offerings over the last six months by signing up retailers globally to sell its products, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart in the U.S., Tesco in the U.K. and Bic Camera in Japan.

The kiosks were just an expansion of the company's online and catalog sales, said David Daoud, an analyst at IDC. "If anything, it shows that Dell doesn't want kiosks to compete with the brick and mortar stores," he said. Customers prefer to buy products online or at a store so having kiosks doesn't fit with Dell's evolving U.S. business model, Daoud said.

However, kiosks will be an effective tool to facilitate brand awareness for Dell in the international and emerging markets, especially for customers who can't go online, Daoud said. Though it has a significant enterprise presence internationally, Dell has the potential to grow in the consumer space.
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