Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) has confirmed plans to broaden its retailing footprint–this time with China’s largest consumer electronics retailer, Gome.
In a statement Monday, Dell confirmed published reports (Techmeme, Reuters) that it would sell its PCs through Gome. Dell said the Gome deal is its first retail partnership in China. Under the deal with Dell, Gome will carry desktops such as the XPS 720, Dimension 9200 and Inspiron 530 along with the Inspiron 1420 and XPS M1330 notebooks.
Dell’s plan is to roll out systems in 50 Gome stores in October. The expansion will continue through the first half of 2008. Dell, which added that it will offer more systems through Gome, said employees would be available to help customers.
The big theme for Dell is expanding its presence in China and other parts of Asia. The best way to accomplish that goal is to use the sales channel and partner with retailers that already have a relationship with customers. Dell has been in China since 1998 via direct sales.
In a blog post, Dell’s Michael Tatelman, vice president of consumer sales and marketing, said:
Many of you may not be aware, but I lived in this area of the world for almost 3 years and appreciate the increasing sophistication of Chinese customers in how they buy and use technology. Since Dell opened its first Customer Experience Center [CEC] in China last year, customers have shown us how much they value seeing our products in person. That success has led us to establish nine CECs throughout China within one year. These experience centers continue to provide insights into the affinity of Chinese customers for a convenient shopping experience, and helped pave the way for us to enter into retail in China.
Because of the size of Gome’s presence in cities of all sizes, most Chinese customers are probably familiar with Gome. This partnership will help us extend beyond our online and phone direct business model to connect with a broader set of customers.
Gome will be Dell’s fourth retail partner. It has partnered with Bic Camera in Japan, Carphone Warehouse in the United Kingdom and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) in the States. If I were to bet, an India retail partnership can’t be too far behind.