Dell to open retail stores
The Statesman (registration required) reports that Dell is planning
to open its own chain of retail stores. Dell will start with two
stores: one in Dallas scheduled to open late in the summer, and another in New York that will open in the fall. This isn't the first time Dell has dipped into retail; it experimented
with retail kiosks in some Sears locations a few years back, but this
time it will be opening proper stand-alone stores. The stores will
showcase the company's PC and home theater offerings, with retail
personnel available to answer questions and demo products.
However, customers won't be able to actually buy anything
on-site—Dell says the stores will be a "physical extension of the
direct model," and that they will simply serve to let customers see
products in person before buying. The Statesman also says the stores
will represent a chance for Dell to put a human face on its products,
which are at present only available via phone or online.