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Dell does clicks n' mortar

There was a time when the only way you can buy a PC or laptop from Dell Computer was through the Internet or over the phone.Now, you can actually go to a store in the Mid Valley Megamall (a popular shopping center in Kuala Lumpur) and buy some Dell products.

There was a time when the only way you can buy a PC or laptop from Dell Computer was through the Internet or over the phone.

Now, you can actually go to a store in the Mid Valley Megamall (a popular shopping center in Kuala Lumpur) and buy some Dell products.

It's part of a global trend. Dell has arranged to have its products on display in some 10,000 stores worldwide.

Some are Dell branded stores while others are joint ventures.

The Malaysian store is a partnership with TecAsia, the retail arm of FTEC Resources, a laptop manufacturer in its own right.

In addition, Dell products will also be available at existing TecAsia retail stores in Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) as well as at a new outlet in Low Yat Plaza (a popular IT Mall in Kuala Lumpur).

I'm not sure this is the best move. Yes, it is making Dell products more accessible through more outlets.

But, I suspect once you start making products available at physical locations, there will be a natural tendency for consumers to purchase through those outlets rather than online.

As it is, few people do any kind of transactions online. There is only a handful of organizations that have managed to get people to do their transactions over the Internet.

AirAsia is one--there are extremely few physical ticketing counters. If you want to buy an AirAsia ticket, you have to buy it online.

The U.S. Embassy is another. If you want to get a visa to visit the United States, you have no choice but to apply for it online.

That used to be the case with Dell, but now it won't be. I wonder if they will see a drop in online sales. I would be surprised if they didn't.