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Dell Partners for Retail Sales in China

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Dell is looking to reclaim the top position worldwide amongst computer manufacturers, and, to do so, it’s setting aside bits of its direct-order business model to partner with retailers it think can put its products into consumers’ hands more efficiently. Today, Dell took another step in that direction, announcing it will be offering desktop and notebook computers in China via a partnership with the major Chinese electronics retailer Gome. Gome Electrical Appliances is one of China’s top consumer electronics retailers, with more than 700 outlets in more than 200 Chinese cities, and has brand recognition on a level with Best Buy or Circuit City in the United States.

Dell plans to offer its XPS M1330 and XPS 720 desktop to Chinese consumers, along with Inspiron 1420 notebook and 530 desktop, and Dimension 9200 desktop. Dell products will be in about 50 Gome stores beginning in early October, with Dell’s presence expanding into early 2008. Dell will also position its own employees in Gome stores to help customers with purchases and their “overall experience.” Dell estimates it accounts for about 18 percent of the Chinese computer market by revenue, and about 10 percent of the market in terms of units sold. Dell would like to increase those numbers to something more on par with its presence in other countries, and with good reason: the Chinese computer market accounted for about $14 billion in revenue in 2006, and is expected to grow by as much as 25 percent per year through 2009 to 2011.

“Chinese consumers are increasingly sophisticated in how they buy and use technology, so it is only natural that a global brand like Dell partner with Gome to provide a preferred shopping experience,” said Dell marketing and sales VP Michael Tatelman, in a statement. “For Dell, this is a great opportunity to extend connections with Chinese customers we may not have reached in the past. We look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship with Gome.”

Earlier this year, Dell introduced low-cost PCs for the Chinese market; Dell also abandoned its direct-sales approach earlier this year, inking a deal with American mega-retailer Wal-Mart to sell Dell systems in its stores.

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