[photopress:Michael_Dell.JPG,full,alignright]Dell, the world’s second-biggest personal computer maker, is considering selling its machines in retail stores in Asia. In fact, it will have to. It is already selling desktop computers in the US in Wal-Mart stores.
This is a major move after years of reliance on direct sales over the telephone and Internet,. It should have happened earlier but the management, perhaps, misjudged the market. Dell thought that having to wait for a computer to be completed to your exact specifications would continue to be a viable sales method even when the computer became, effectively, a consumer item.
If you know the difference between the different makes — Apple excepted — you are unusual. And this is the ‘now’ generation which wants instant service and delivery. You get that from a store. Not from making a special order over the Internet to have one built, no matter how stream-lined the method.
Dell, in an official statement, said, ‘We have said that we will be looking to expand our presence in the retail market. We’d look across the entire Asian market, but it’s speculative at this time to say whether it’s limited to specific countries. We are looking at a retail strategy that goes well beyond what we’ve done in the past.’
Such a nonsense.
Dell sales are at long last beginning to pick up but Michael Dell, founder, chief executive and, as it happens, a very nice guy, has said Dell faces a struggle to gain lost ground.
Asia is a key battleground for Dell and HP. What is the difference between a HP and a Dell PC? The HP sells more.
Dell is continuing its expansion into the retail world which is long overdue. Dell flack Bob Kaufman said, ‘We are working with partners to come up with the best way to connect with our customers. This is part of our evolving global strategy to find opportunities not only in the U.S. but outside the U.S., to connect with customers we haven’t necessarily connected with in the past.’
That is the way PRs speak. They probably go on a special course.
China is seen as a hot emerging market. The US and, possibly, Europe are slower-growing, mature markets. Dell’s direct sales model has served it well in the U.S. and Europe but has made little headway in emerging countries.
Sharon Zhang, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Dell, said, ‘It’s definitely something we are exploring.’ She declined to give specifics. Possibly because she did not know any.
However, we can hazard a few guesses. In China buying by credit card over the Internet for a product that has not yet been assembled is not a common way of doing business. A PC is a PC is a PC. If you can nip down to the local store, pay cash and take it home with you, you will. Dell will have to sell direct in China. It has no other option.
Source: MSN and Bloomberg
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