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Dell Moves Into Retail With Caution

As Dell broadens from just selling its wares directly over the Internet and by phone, it risks siphoning off its base of Web customers. So it is carefully choosing which retailers to link up with and then cherry-picking which products to sell in each store.

Best Buy is offering Dell's desktop computers, its more expensive 14-inch Inspiron laptops, and its high-end XPS branded notebooks. But Best Buy isn't offering Dell's printers or its lower-end notebooks. Best Buy director Jason Bonfig says the retailer could have stocked all of Dell's products, but instead "it was, 'Let's find the right things for both of us.' "

Michael Dell, the company's CEO and chairman, says that within 18 months, his company will be selling through stores in the world's top 20 countries, but the slow pace has left some in the industry impatient. Roger Kay, president of consulting firm Endpoint Technologies Associates, says Dell hasn't caught up with competitors such as H-P. Dell has entered more than 10,000 retail outlets in six months, but H-P sells products in 110,000 retail outlets worldwide.



Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal »

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