Dell Computer announced today that it had inked a deal with China's largest electronics retailer, GOME Group, to sell personal computers and notebooks in their stores throughout China. GOME is big, with 950 locations, and Dell hopes to expand market share in China by selling their products to Chinese customers accustomed to buying in stores, not through Dell's usual business model of direct sales over the Internet or over the phone from a catalog.
Dell, the world's second-largest PC vendor after
Hewlett-Packard Co., has traditionally sold computers over the Internet
or by telephone, but in May it said it would sell computers through
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the U.S.
Since then it has signed deals with retailers in the U.K., Japan and Russia.
"Although the direct model is great for many people, in Asian cultures
and China in particular many people want to see and touch and feel
things before they actually take them home," Tatelman said on the
sidelines of the press conference.
Dell is in fourth place in computer sales in China, behind Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, and Founder Technology Group. Perhaps China is no longer just a place to make things, but a place to buy things, too. Maybe Dell can have customer support in Texas, and all the callers from Beijing can say: "You talk funny" to Americans for a change.