Dell picks first Chinese retail partner

PC maker signs distribution agreement with China's largest electronics retailer GOME, which will carry Dell systems across its outlets.

Chinese consumers will be able to purchase Dell Computer notebooks and desktop PCs in retail stores across China from next month.

In a statement released today, the U.S.-based computer maker announced that it has partnered China's largest consumer electronics retailer GOME, to reach out to shoppers visiting the Chinese retail outlets. The Beijing-based company has over 700 stores selling computers across China.

Starting early October, a range of Dell products including notebooks and desktops such as the 13.3 inch XPS M1330, XPS 720 performance desktop, Inspiron 1420 notebook, Dimension 9200 desktop and Inspiron 530 desktop, will be available across 50 major GOME stores in the country. There are also plans to "significantly expand" Dell's retail network early next year, according to the PC maker.

In addition, Dell employees will be stationed in the stores to assist customers with their purchases, the company added.

"Chinese consumers are increasingly sophisticated in how they buy and use technology, so it is only natural that a global brand like Dell partner with GOME to provide a preferred shopping experience," Michael Tatelman, vice president of marketing and sales for Dell's global consumer business, said in a statement.

"For Dell, this is a great opportunity to extend connections with Chinese customers we may not have reached in the past," Tatelman added.

Dell's partnership with GOME is the latest in a string of retail distribution agreement aimed at reaching more customers around the world. The PC maker has also announced similar partnerships with Bic Cameria in Japan, Carphone Warehouse in the United Kingdom and Wal-Mart in the United States. Just last week, it opened its first retail store in Russia.

The announcements follow Dell's plans in July to start selling its products at retail outfits across the Asia-Pacific region, breaking a 23-year tradition of adopting a direct sales model.

Its partnership with GOME puts Dell, currently the world's second largest PC maker, head-on against Asia's current market leader Lenovo. Lenovo is particularly strong in China, its home base, where it leads by a significant margin.