Today in Beijing, we announced a partnership with Gome, the largest consumer electronics retailer in China, to sell Dell products in local Gome stores. This marks the first time Dell has sold systems in retail in China since we entered this market in 1998.
Starting in October, customers will be able to buy notebooks like the the XPS M1330 and the Inspiron 1420, and desktops like the XPS 720, Dimension 9200 and the Inspiron 530, at more than 50 major metropolitan Gome stores. Additional Gome stores will carry Dell products in the coming months. Dell employees will be on site in Gome stores to help customers with their purchases and provide tech support.
Many of you may not be aware, but I lived in this area of the world for almost 3 years and appreciate the increasing sophistication of Chinese customers in how they buy and use technology. Since Dell opened its first Customer Experience Center (CEC) in China last year, customers have shown us how much they value seeing our products in person. That success has led us to establish nine CECs throughout China within one year. These experience centers continue to provide insights into the affinity of Chinese customers for a convenient shopping experience, and helped pave the way for us to enter into retail in China.
Because of the size of Gome’s presence in cities of all sizes, most Chinese customers are probably familiar with Gome. This partnership will help us extend beyond our online and phone direct business model to connect with a broader set of customers.
Does this mean the end of traditional direct in China? No, it does not. All of our recent retail activities are meant to augment direct sales. Dell has built our business on the foundation of direct customer interaction, and that will not change. This is about reaching more customers in China.
Not long ago, we announced retail agreements in the U.K., U.S. and Japan. The partnership with Gome in China is an important extension of Dell’s global retail strategy. We will continue to grow and develop this strategy based on needs of customers around the world.