Dell Closing Down Their Retail Kiosks Across The Country (UPDATED)

You know those Dell retail kiosks that are located in big shopping centres and key locations around the country? They'll be closing down within the next two months, according to a tipster from one of the locations.

Dell shut down their kiosks in the US back in January 2008, opting to focus on their online strategy and partnerships with big retailers like Best Buy. Our tipster tells us that the reason for the closure is that Microsoft - who had apparently been sponsoring the kiosks for around $2 million a year - had decided to end the sponsorship, thus leaving them without the necessary funds to make the idea viable.

Dell wouldn't comment directly on the Microsoft sponsorship, but did emphasise that the fairly strong retail partnerships they have with Officeworks, JB Hifi, Dick Smiths and The Good Guys influenced their decision:

UPDATE: Dell have since contacted us to confirm that "the kiosk program closure is a business decision, and unrelated to Microsoft and our relationship with them."

Dell Australia offers consumers broad access to its products including through dell.com, its four retail partners and dell.com in its retail partners’ stores. Beyond this, Dell Australia also constantly evaluates how it can provide consumers the best access to its products and as a result made the decision to phase-out its kiosks located in Australian shopping malls by 3 June.

Dell Australia still offers consumers broad access to its products through dell.com, its four retail partners and dell.com in its retail partners’ stores.

The contractors supplied by third parties to staff the kiosks are being offered other positions by our external partners and Dell.

When you think about it, there's probably a JB Hi-Fi and possibly a Dick Smiths in every one of the 15 shopping centres that house a kiosk, so it does make a lot of business sense. And it's good news that they're looking at employing the kiosk staff as well.


Comments

    The interesting question is whether the Microsoft Stores trialed in the US have been a retail success and if so, will Microsoft continue to open additional Microsoft Stores in major US cities, and then internationally (although opening an Australian flagship store would cost significantly more than $2m)

    The problem is that the kiosks are worth far more than just "sales". It's great to have staff that actually KNOW about THEIR products, rather than some teenager who doesn't care and has to know details about 6 different brands of laptops (plus cameras, phones etc). The Dell call centre is next to useless (if they ever answer your call), and the kiosks have been a great resource in finding out information and solving issues. While they may not move as many boxes as a big retail store, they have certainly converted many people that would've bought other brands and kept many Dell customers that otherwise would have made the switch. All-in-all a very sad day for the consumer. As for the positions supposedly offered to staff, they are mostly in Sydney, and there certainly aren't enough for all the staff.

      With any luck the Dell staff can replace the "sales" people at JB HiFi. I went in today to find out about an Inspiron Mini and the guy with the lanyard could only answer questions by reading the sales ticket or using Windows search to check for features, and when I asked if I could get one in red, he replied "...no, it's black."

      Wow. *facepalm*

        I agree wholeheartedly. I am about to purchase another Dell Desktop. My other one is 7 years old. I know nothing about the new technology and cannot trust young sales people in the retail stores to give me the correct information. I need the correct information on the best purchase for my needs. Who will answer my questions? These sales people will just offer you the stock they have in their store. I am very upset about this. Bernice Curtis Australia.

    I wanted to buy something from a Dell kiosk a while back, and I remember them telling me they didn't sell anything there and I had to go online or phone them to place an order. Way too hard.

    This is a bad business decision for Dell. They actually had the best flagship for their product, and i'm pretty sure it brought in enough money to support itself.

    The Dell problem lies in their logistics and planning. Their overseas product teams and their logistic partners are terrible, if they are closing their Kiosks I would expect these two areas to pick up.

    I dealt with the kiosks and their staff could answer questions no other IT retail salesperson could. Forget selling via DSE, JB and Officeworks. Dell sees selling to their retail outlets as the put product there and wipe their hands of it. Their kiosks push the product and actually educate customers as to what they need, not just at consumer level but small and medium business as well.

    I hope Dell actually reads these. This is by far one of the most shortsighted decisions you can make. You should be pushing for your own retail store, you have the best opportunity. Apple can sell a range of 4 laptops and 4 desktops approximately and make money, Dell has a range of everything and can't set up shop properly.

    Dell's hired so many key management staff recently that they have no idea on how the market breaths. Get some balls. Your probably best to hire one of these kiosks guys as your next manager, the ones I've dealt with are better than any other staff i've spoken too.

      I agree 100% with this also.

    My mate worked at one kiosk and the company that managed the kiosks for Dell did not offer him a job and even Dell did not offer him a job. Only people they offered jobs to were some managers, rest were terminated!

    So do not know why in the article it states when it is not true "The contractors supplied by third parties to staff the kiosks are being offered other positions by our external partners and Dell."

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