Dell Direct Stores to shut down kiosks around the U.S.

Dell announced in a press release on Tuesday that it will close all its Dell Direct Stores throughout the United States.  Currently, there are 140 kiosks stationed throughout the country; mostly in malls and shopping centers.  First opened in 2002, the Dell Direct Store offered a way to allow customers to play with machines before purchasing them.

The company feels that it can reach more of the market by sticking to retail stores such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Staples. When Dell first opened its stores, it marketed laptops, desktops, and even its line of flat panel televisions.  Through big box retailers, the company can appeal to more than just customers looking for Dell products. 

“Moving into retail is a prime example of Dell listening to its customers,” said Tony Weiss, vice president for Dell’s Global Consumer business. “Ever since we began our journey into retail, we wanted to give customers the opportunity to call, click, or visit Dell and have access to our award-winning products. This move fits in with how our broad global retail strategy is evolving.”

Bob Kaufman, in an interview with CNET, stated that the number of employees that will be laid off is unknown currently, and Kaufman declined to answer how much this move will cost the company.  Kaufman did state that the affected workers will receive outplacement assistance and severance.

Dell has other plans for the retail business. Even as the ink dries on its announcement to close kiosks, the company pledged to open retail stores across the country.  The kiosks are apparently not part of this business model. 

Dell did not give an exact date on the when it will shutdown all of its kiosks, but it mentioned that it will be over the next couple days. The closings will only take place within the United States.

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