THE KIOSK WAS ONCE the closest thing Dell came to having a shop. But now the once-direct firm is abandoning them.
More than 140 Dell kiosks will close as the tin man pushes its business into the retail channel much like everyone else.
In the good old days, Dell used to evangelise the direct sale model and only sold its gear through the internet over the phone.
It made the company a fortune, but it was also decided that it would be helpful if there was some sort of retail presence. So, in 2002, Dell set up the mall kiosk, mostly manned by disinterested college kids. It was not possible to buy a Dell at the kiosk, but punters could play with one and make an order.
This was seen as Dell dipping its toe into the retail market.
Now the toe-dipping stage has past, and Dell is now inside mainstream outlets such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, so the kiosks are not that useful.
A SpokesDell said that the kiosks were very good for business at the time, but are now a bit out of step with Dell's grand plan.
More here. µ
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