Dell on Monday said it would start selling PCs next month in China's largest electronics retailer, the latest move in Dell's expansion into retail stores worldwide.
Gome Group plans to begin selling Dell PCs in 50 metropolitan stores in early October, "significantly expanding" the number of stores in the early part of next year, Dell said. Gome owns 1,000 stores in 168 Chinese cities, and is the country's largest electronics retailer.
Gome is Dell's first retail partner in China, which is the second largest PC market by shipments. The Lenovo Group and Hewlett-Packard are the market leaders in China, according to IDC. "For Dell, this is a great opportunity to extend connections with Chinese customers we may not have reached in the past," Michael Tatelman, VP of marketing and sales at Dell, said in a statement.
Dell's lack of retail outlets has placed the company at a disadvantage among potential customers who prefer to see computers before they buy them. To boost sales among consumers, the company has partnered with retailers in Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Russia. These deals mark a major shift in strategy for Dell, which had a retail presence near zero last year and depended on direct sales either by phone or over the Web.
Emerging markets, such as China, are expected to be a major contributor to the projected growth in PC shipments through next year, according to Gartner. Emerging markets overall are expected to average 18.6% unit growth this year and next, while mature markets are projected to average just 7%.
Dell is almost halfway through a major reorganization that followed declining sales, primarily within the consumer market. The company, which is the second-largest PC maker in the world behind HP, is trying to regain market share with new consumer products and a retail strategy.