Dell selling at Best Buy. Good idea?

I think so. Lot's of folks want to see and touch a laptop before purchase... here's another opinion... (remember, these are not business model laptops or desktops, though!)
Dell hopes Best Buy partnership reverses market share slide
By Joel Hruska Published: December 06, 2007 - 03:15PM CT

This past year hasn't been particularly kind to Dell. The company's US market share declined to 29.1 percent during the third quarter, down from 32.3 percent in the third quarter of 2006. The company isn't sitting by and watching this happen; Dell has signed deals that put the company's systems on the shelves of several major retailers, but it hasn't managed to stop the leak. Sam's Club/Wal-Mart was Dell's first partner back in April and deal with Staples came in late October. Today, Dell announced another addition to its list of retail sales outlets—Best Buy.

While Dell's deal with Sam's Club focused on the low-cost Inspiron notebook series, Best Buy will be carrying a complete line of Dell products. Expect to see the XPS M1330 (white only), the Inspiron 1521 (in blue and black), and the Inspiron 1420 (black only). Desktop models will include the Inspiron 530, 531, and 531s. For the moment, Dell appears to be reserving the red systems for itself, but the company does note that additional system models and colors will be available later in 2008.

As you might expect, Dell does its best to put a good spin on this arrangement, going so far as to say that buying from a store like Best Buy is actually an illustration of how Dell is applying its direct sales model in retail. I'm not sure how selling from a retail store is actually a demonstration of direct sales in action—it sounds more like what everyone else does—but at least we know that Dell's PR machine is firing on all cylinders. The company goes on to make the (far stronger) point that by selling in a retail outlet, Dell is giving customers the chance to evaluate systems before they purchase. That's an important issue for Dell to address, as the lack of a hands-on laptop experience is one factor cited in the company's market share dip.

Complete article.