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.