Dell’s Founder Is Rethinking Direct Sales - New York Times: " *
"Found this article interesting even though it has little to do with eLearning. Dell is a big influence here in Central Texas, and its lagging sales and consequent falling stock performance have been the talk of the town recently. Now it seems that Dell is re-thinking its Direct sales model and may begin to sell to consumers in retail outlets. Supposedly the shift last year to more people buying laptops as opposed to desktops was the turning point. Laptops are harder to customize than desktops, therefore the "build to order" makes less sense.
However, I think that consumers like the shopping experience and many want the hands-on touch and feel they can get when they go to the Apple store or CompUSA, in addition to the immediate gratification of carrying something out the door. It will be interesting to see how Dell can transform its internet/catalog sales to retail outlets.