Dell has certainly found the retail religion. The PC maker, which once shunned retail outlets to build a business model around direct sales to customers, is now lining up distribution deals with retailers faster than an AMD Barcelona chip -- as if anyone would actually know.
After earlier lining up agreements with Wal-Mart and Staples, Dell on Dec. 6 announced a relationship with Best Buy. Its products will also show up on shelves at China's Gome stores, Japan's Bic Camera, and Europe's Carrefour Group and Carphone Warehouse.
The addition of 900 Best Buy locations brings the number of retail outlets where Dell products are sold to 10,000, according to the Direct2Dell blog. Dell will service and support PCs purchased at Best Buy.
Research firm AMI-Partners called the retail trend earlier this year in an ITBusiness.ca article:
With hardware becoming a commodity purchase, and as manufacturers improve direct service and support capabilities, the percentage of direct hardware purchases through retail will continue to rise.
Support services do appear to be a key to the increase, as evidenced by Microsoft's deal with CompUSA to refer support issues to Microsoft channel partners in its Small Business Specialist Community.