updated 09:25 am EST, Thu December 6, 2007
Dell to Sell at Best Buy
Dell on Thursday revealed that it will begin selling its computers at Best Buy stores in the US, marking one of the company's most significant ventures into retail. The Texas PC builder will offer both desktops and notebooks from its Inspiron and XPS lines; this includes the iMac-like XPS One, according to the company. Outside of the all-in-one computer, the focus of the initial release will be on more affordable systems and should top out at the XPS 13.3-inch XPS M1330 in white; the 14-inch Inspiron 1420 will be available with a black lid while the AMD-based, 15.4-inch Inspiron 1521 will ship in black or blue hues. The Inspiron 530/531 tower and its 531s slimline version will also be carried at the stores, Dell notes.
More models and color options will be available over time, Dell promises.
The deal will reach 900 stores in the country and extends company's break from its direct-only sales approach, with Dell having struck deals in mid-summer for Sam's Club and Wal-Mart followed by an agreement this October to offer its PCs in Staples outlets. These previous offerings have focused primarily on Dell's budget systems and have excluded the XPS line, which is normally targeted at gamers and performance-minded users.
The move comes as Dell attempts to recover from a steep drop in marketshare, which analysts frequently credit to the company's lack of presence in the growing retail market. The current leader HP is known as one of Best Buy's strongest-selling PC lines and generally has greater distribution at retail locations than most of its immediate competitors. Dell has experimented with a handful of its own stores in recent months but has limited them to demo-only locations, unlike other self-run stores from Apple and Sony.