Dell Following Apple's Retail Example?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, May 23, 2006.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    PCPro reports that Dell has announced plans to open two retail stores later this year. Dell has been successful as a direct (mail order) only operation which is claimed to be the most cost-effective.

    Dell currently does operate 161 kiosks in shopping centers nationwide, but this retail initiative would open two 3000 square foot stores - one in Dallas, TX and another in New York. Customers will not be able to purchase Dell computers at the store, however. Instead, the stores will simply offer demos and sales staff to answer questions.

    Dell's expansion, of course, will draw comparisons with Apple's retail expansion which has received a lot of media attention. Apple's 5th Avenue Store opened just last week to a long line of waiting customers.
  2. Drizzt macrumors member


    Feb 18, 2006
  3. jrhone macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
  4. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Jun 4, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    if Dell stores look like clunky Dell laptops...
  5. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    #5 this case, their correct.
  6. Analog Kid macrumors 68040

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    Wow-- talk about unclear on the concept...
  7. jrober macrumors regular


    Jan 22, 2003
    Heathfield, UK
    Are they kidding?

    This sounds nuts, I think that the idea of viewing and asking then leaving with nothing but a bit of paper is a most satisfying retail experience - not.

    Also think of the visual appeal "Mom look there's a shop selling gravestones" "Son, those aren't gravestones they are Dell towers"

  8. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816


    Dec 24, 2005
    Let me guess… tomorrow (tuesday), they're going to announce that they will build a 32 by 32 foot glass cube in the center of Boston, and have a 20,000 square foot store underneath, with a giant floating Dell sign in the middle of the cube. And then when someone goes in there and asks about the resemblance to Apple's cube, they'll answer, what other almost identical cube.
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Hopefully, in trying to copy Apple's retail experience, they end up emulating Gateway. :cool:

    Having a store, with no units for retail sale ... sort of ruins the day for some of the impulse shoppers, who may just change their mind.
  10. jne381 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2006
    Grand Rapids
    Worst Idea Ever!

    "I would like this piece of junk Dell machine."

    "No,no, you can't buy one in the Dell store. You have to order it so you can't have instant dissatisfaction from your new computer."
  11. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    Not selling computers in-store is the first mistake right there...

    Secondly, they don't have a top-selling iconic product like the iPod to lure customers in. The world knows Apple for their iPod and stylish computers.

    And thirdly, what kind of experience is going to keep the customers coming back for more? Apple Stores offer everything: demos, customer service, workshops, in-store purchases

    I look forward to going to Apple stores for the immaculate design they represent. Will Dell off that? Most likely not.

    I know I sound biased, but it's true.
  12. MrCrowbar macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2006
    I still would like to be able to take the box with me at the store like I did today for my Macbook. Of course, this involves having the products in stock. However with Dell's MANY BTO options, it's just not realistinc to have all the configrations in the store. I welcome the Dell "try out places". If I had not seen this Dell display (see sig) at a friend's, I'd never had thought of buying it. I don't think Dell is copying Apple here. They just want to expand their market the the people reluctant to buy something they did not see in person before.
  13. m-dogg macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2004
    This should be interesting...

    I'll have to check out the NYC store when it opens. I'll be curious what the Dell Store experience will be in comparison to Apple's.
  14. Apmonia macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2003
    Why this won't work.....

    Dell cannot make this work without actually having computers to sell in the store. Customers want to walk out with the product they came in for, just like they can in the Apple stores. If Dell wants to survive, they need to act like Gateway did a couple of years ago, close down all the stores and move into the retail spaces like Circuit City, Best Buy and CompUSA. The Apple retail stores work because like to come in there and play with the cool equipment and decide which iPod they want. The iPod draws so many people into the Apple stores, what is going to draw people into the Dell stores? Alienware?

  15. dizastor macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Problem with the dell retail store is, that after 150 visitors through the door, the lights go off, the doors slam and the clerks start speaking really sloooooowly. The regional manager has to swing by and flip the reboot switch, and defrag.
  16. thedude110 macrumors 68020


    Jun 13, 2005
    I see this going the way of the Gateway stores (which preceded the Apple stores, I believe), especially if the stores intend to be an "experience" of the product, rather than a hub for actually selling the product.

    I think the Apple stores work because Apple has so much cachet -- even in the logo itself. People travel for Apple stores -- will anyone travel for a Dell store?

    More simply ... Apple has a real, cultural identity. Dell is just another Windows box. Unless this is the start of OS Dell, this can only be good for Apple.
  17. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Too many build options ... to do a custom computer "in-store"

    Wal-Mart seems to think that expanding their offering of a bunch of pre-packaged bundles, to including build-your-own-computer counters is the way to go.

    Dell is letting their biggest possible competition get a foothold.
  18. astaples macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2006
    I don't care if Dell's store would staff knowledgable people, offer refreshments upon eneterring, serve a 4-course meal, and give you a backrub while you're in the store - Dell's garbage technical support is why I don't own any Dell's now. We used to own only Dell, but then switched to Apple because of a good tech support experience with Apple.

    I don't see Dell opening a store that looks like Apple's, but I do think they'll try to copy Apple by having stark white and jet black laptops. Oh Dell - I pitty you.
  19. Mitch1984 macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2005
    Yeah it's like that "We Sell Your Stuff On eBay" shop on The 40 Year Old Virgin. Haha.

    Anyone agree?
  20. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    The reason why Apple's model works so well (as mentioned elswehere) is you can go in, test it out and take it home if you like it. They do offer BTO orders but the majority of the configurations are stock. Dell on the other hand specialises in BTO orders, just take a look at their configuration page on the site, they have waaay more options than Apple ever will. There's a reason why you can't just buy these in stores and that's because it doesn't fit in with their business model. What purpose does a store have if you can't buy anything in it, is everything going to be special order? I wonder how much of Apple's retail business comes from people going in there and coming out with something, I'm guessing its a pretty good percentage.

    Its a good thing to try something out before you buy but its something else entirely when you can bring it home with you. I mean, how many retail stores operate on that kind of business?
  21. idkfa macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2006
    Apple stores have two distinct types of customers:

    1. The die-hard Macheads who really know their stuff, and would like to pick up
    an Airport Extreme or mini-DVI to Video or extra RAM for their new MacBook, i.e. the average MacRumors user.


    2. The pop-culture based cosumer who wants to go to buy an iPod... Just an iPod...maybe a case for an iPod... but nothing else but an iPod. People who would not know the difference between a clamshell iBook and a PowerBook G4. I have nothing against these people though.

    A Dell store would not have the second group of consumers... Apple is probably the only computing company that generates enough popular press to have stores as a viable option.
  22. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    "stores" where you can't actually buy products?? No matter what else they do right, that right there is going to doom them, period.
  23. boncellis macrumors 6502


    Feb 9, 2006
    Salt Lake City
    Not offering computers for sale at a 3000 square foot store? What kind of sense does that make?

    I think it's a good idea to let the public see the other things they have to offer, such as their monitors and TVs. There's no comparison between looking at an LCD TV online and seeing it in real life.

    If they don't offer anything for sale (which I doubt) I could see this as one of the worst possible jobs in retail:

    "Hello, welcome to the Dell Demo Center."
    "Can I get a laptop?"
    "I'm sorry, we don't sell anything here. But feel free to open Notepad and Calculator on our display models. I think there are a few that aren't stuck in an endless malware-induced loop."

  24. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    HAHAHAHAHA...................this is just great. Dell is obviously feeling the heat with Apple's increase in popularity and market share.
    I love it. This will just help consumers flock to the Apple stores. :D

    People like convenience. They will want to take home their new computer, not take the time to go to the store, play with it, place an order and then have to wait for it to arrive. Blah.
  25. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    So now repeat after me:

    "Mr. Jobs, what would ya do to fix Dell's failed retail attempt?"

    "What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."


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