Partnership the way to go for Dell

A company spokesperson says the computer maker is looking to tap the retail muscle of established distribution networks in Asia, but declines details.
Written by Lynn Tan @ Redhat, Contributor

U.S.-based computer maker Dell will make a play for Asia's retail opportunity with the help of more partners, but maintains it is not straying from its direct business model.

When contacted by ZDNet Asia, a spokesperson from Dell Asia confirmed that the company plans to pursue partnerships like the recent one in China, in other parts of the region, but declined to give further details.

Last month, Dell announced its partnership with China's largest consumer electronics retailer GOME to reach out to shoppers visiting the Chinese retail outlets across the country.

The PC maker has also announced similar partnerships with Bic Camera in Japan, Carphone Warehouse in the United Kingdom and Wal-Mart in the United States. It has also opened its first retail store in Russia.

The expansion of Dell's retail strategy in Asia is "ongoing", the spokesperson said, adding that it will be a two-pronged approach for now. The PC maker will partner retailers to tap their "existing infrastructure", or distribution channels, as well as set up a retail showcase for potential computer buyers to check out Dell products and make enquiries.

In Asia, Dell has already "customer experience" centers to let potential buyers touch and feel its products. In Singapore, for instance, Dell has a small retail showcase in a mall, which operates more like a "kiosk" and where interested buyers can make enquiries and get help with placing orders. Similar outlets can be found in China and Hong Kong.

Although this retail strategy presents new ways for the computer maker to reach out to potential customers, the direct sales model is still the mainstay of Dell's business, the spokesperson said.

The PC maker broke away from a 23-year tradition of selling computers to consumers via a direct sales model when it announced its retail strategy in July, in an attempt to reach more customers worldwide.

Dell is currently the world's second largest PC maker.

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