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Dell Plans to Sell PCs at Wal-Mart

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-a-bit-outside-the-norm dept.

Businesses 221

DJAdapt writes "In a departure from Dell's approach of selling machines only directly to customers, a Dell spokesman said Thursday that the computer maker will begin selling two of its Dimension desktop computers in about 3,000 Wal-Marts beginning June 10. Dell spokesman Dwayne Cox said the Wal-Mart deal 'represents our first step' into global retail. 'Customers want more and new ways to buy our products, and we plan on meeting their needs on a global level,' Cox said. 'Offering Dell Dimensions in Wal-Mart is a great example of this approach.'"

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cornbread (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258109)

afdsasdf

Re:cornbread (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258235)

Hell yeah, cornbread. With a bowl of pinto beans with ham hocks and pig's feet! And don't forget the hot sauce!

hmm (-1)

spotlight2k3 (652521) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258111)

walmart dells, what's next?

Packard Dell !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258509)

hahahah

Packard Dell !!

hahahah

(walmart has mostly cheap crap that breaks to the point that it's MUCH cheaper to buy decent elsewhere, but as often is the case, the poor, clueless will be the suckers !!)

Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (4, Insightful)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258113)

This screams "We want to be the #1 North American computer seller again and we'll just have to deal with the negative effects of that on margins and brand perception".

I'm sure they'll sell a ton of these because of the nature of Wal-Mart, but this seems like a horrible move in terms of the perception it will create about the Dell brand. I can see those who know little about computers who are looking for quality rather than bargain basement pricing steering away from Dell because they will be the new "cheap Wal-Mart computers". Dell will surely be offering low-end models and will make even less on them because a portion of the purchase price goes to Wal-Mart.

I imagine they're going with Wal-Mart because

  • Wal-Mart takes less of their profit margin than a Best Buy or Circuit City
  • it's a quick way to sell a lot of computers
  • pushing up sheer quantity of computer sales to achieve the highest number is their primary goal at the moment.

Either I'm missing something or this is a short-sighted move.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (0)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258257)

Perhaps they'll be seen as the alternative to the 'crappy wal-mart computer'. I am not saying they will, but it's possible. Not everything sold at wal-mart is crap, even though wal-mart IS a crappy company and many wal-mart employees are treated like crap. I'm sad to see it happen, but maybe the experiment will fail.

Sold at Wal-Mart != low quality (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258285)

I can see those who know little about computers who are looking for quality rather than bargain basement pricing steering away from Dell because they will be the new "cheap Wal-Mart computers".
Any more than a PLAYSTATION 3 video game console is perceived as the "cheap Wal-Mart console"?

Dell [...] will make even less on them because a portion of the purchase price goes to Wal-Mart.
As opposed to a portion of the purchase price going to DHL (or whatever shipping company Dell uses)?

Re:Sold at Wal-Mart != low quality (3, Insightful)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258609)

Any more than a PLAYSTATION 3 video game console is perceived as the "cheap Wal-Mart console"?

A PlayStation 3 is a single item with a single manufacturer that doesn't vary in price or quality depending on where you get it. No matter where you buy, you get the same PS3. Do you really think the same is true with computers for someone who doesn't know much about them? I'm going to leave the burden of proof with you, as this doesn't seem worth writing an argument for.

As opposed to a portion of the purchase price going to DHL (or whatever shipping company Dell uses)?

It's clearly cheaper for Dell to pay their super cut-rate DHL shipping than to give Wal-Mart a portion of the profit and to ship to their DCs. If it weren't, how would Dell be saving money by only selling direct for so long?

Re:Sold at Wal-Mart != low quality (0, Redundant)

edizzles (1029108) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258699)

Your missing the point a ps3 = ps3, but all computers arte not created equal. People know that unlike you, and therfore will probly asume that its the bardgain brand, but then i;d have to see what wally mart will be selling them for. All in all probly not the best move on dells part, i would have stuck with the drirect to consumer sales.

Re:Sold at Wal-Mart != low quality (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258713)

As opposed to a portion of the purchase price going to DHL (or whatever shipping company Dell uses)?
What I think he's aluding to, is not that Dell hands them a check to do business with them, but Wal-Mart is notorius for being cut-throat on getting the absolute best deal possible. Having visited their HQ in Bentonville, Arkansas, and speaking with all the dozens of corporate lackies that lick Wal-Mart's boots there, they all tell the same story: Wal-Mart drives a very hard bargain. What they get in larger distribution and volumes, Wal-Mart takes out by driving down their margins. That said, they all consistantly say that 'Wal-Mart is hard, but fair'.

Re:Sold at Wal-Mart != low quality (2, Insightful)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258885)

At the same time, I've seen instances, quite a few, where a company produces two varieties of the same item:
One for a "normal" store
The other for Wal*Mart.
The difference being that the Walmart version is always inferior at some level.

Personally, this does not surprise me, but it worries me. People have a hard enough time dealing with computers now. How well with the average Joe deal with them when Wal*Mart sells them a cardboard box full of rocks and calls it a PC?

Re:Sold at Wal-Mart != low quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19259039)

I think you're missing something here. I have to side with the grandparent poster on this.

Dell has been a good company because they have been known for having good quality machines, have been highly configurable and made to order and were once known for their stellar support. WalMart does not assist in any of those qualities.

What WalMart is famous for is driving prices of their suppliers so low that they invariably end up skimping on the quality. Dimension series machines aren't known for being heavy performers to begin with but I am rather afraid of what may happen.

Playstation consoles are items in a box. Each one is the same. The way they are used is the same. The software they run is the same, on and on and on. General purpose PCs are a different animal and I genuinely fear how badly WalMart can mess this up for Dell. I can see Gateway doing this... I have never held Gateway with high regards.

Damnit, if Dell would ask its customers what they should do to bring themselves back to their previous glory, the answer is staring right back at them. PUT BACK EVERYTHING they took away. Bring service and support back to the US. (Really, that's the biggest thing) Bring back the quality hardware. They need to go back to doing what they did before. They had an excellent long-term thing going on. And every time some short-sighted Get-Rich-Quick investor/shareholder demands instant returns and to do more of what the competitors are doing, IGNORE their dumb asses. Let the stock value go down a little and remain true to what really works for the company. The stock market is a VERY bad measure of a company's success. The market is too emotional to truly judge value for anything at all...and they are always short-term.

I have yet to hear anything positive about ROI or anything good coming from moving their support centers overseas. The initial drop in operating costs might look good to shareholders, but the long-term effects are plain for everyone to see, and obvious for their customers to have predicted.

Re:Sold at Wal-Mart != low quality (2, Informative)

Manaknight1980 (1047630) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259063)

Actually Wal-mart is really upgrading their electronics section. The store I work at will soon be carrying Sony Bravias along with better lines from Sharp than they've carried in the past as well as some nice looking Phillips TV's. Mind you this may have something to do with the Futureshop opening next door...

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (5, Insightful)

SEAL (88488) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258325)

Either I'm missing something or this is a short-sighted move.

You're missing the minor point that HP is killing Dell lately, and HP sells most of their computers through traditional brick&mortar channels. Dell is trying to get back in the game.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (2, Informative)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258437)

You're missing the minor point that HP is killing Dell lately, and HP sells most of their computers through traditional brick&mortar channels. Dell is trying to get back in the game.

No, that was the point of my post, which I stated pretty clearly:

This screams "We want to be the #1 North American computer seller again and we'll just have to deal with the negative effects of that on margins and brand perception"

What puzzles me is that it seems like a bad move in the long run. While selling through Wal-Mart will probably accomplish their sales goals, the damage to their brand could easily hurt worse than the lost sales.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258549)

While selling through Wal-Mart will probably accomplish their sales goals, the damage to their brand could easily hurt worse than the lost sales.
Dell's already lost a lot of brand reputation. This isn't going to drag them down much further.

As for using retailers other than Walmart, most B&M eletronics shops already have agreements with HP or another manufacturer. It doesn't make sense for Best Buy, for example, to add another brand to its PC section.

Also, it's important to note that Walmart is in way more markets than any B&M electronics store. Using another retailer would limit Dell's sales.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258747)

It doesn't make sense for Best Buy, for example, to add another brand to its PC section.

I (kinda) understand what you're saying here, but how the hell did we get to the point where it's better for a major retailer to have less diversity in the products he's selling than more?

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

SEAL (88488) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258653)

It really depends on the presentation. HP has been cashing in on their higher end PCs, as opposed to the bargain-basement stuff you'd expect in those retailers. The "media PCs" are the ones that catch eyeballs of people walking by in the stores.

If Dell can make a competitive offering like that then I it's not only smart, but necessary to stop the bleeding they've endured recently.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

amcquay (1106769) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258357)

Some people were already moving away from Dell when worried about quality and not bargain basement pricing, this move only strengthens that logic in my opinion.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (2, Interesting)

y86 (111726) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258375)

Walmart is trying to bring their image up from where it now sits. They are adding wood flooring to stores in my area (fake wood..) and are trying to compete with the higher end competitor, Target. This is a good move for Walmart to try to bring their own brand up...probably not a good move for Dell. Dell would do less damage to it's brand if it chose Target in my eyes. We also need to remember that the Dell brand has lost it's quality in the eyes of those who have used the brand for 10 years. Older Dell computers where never made like the 500$ crap wagons of today... Dell was know for quality and those chose to computer on price which brought down the brand name and the quality.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258763)

You're talking educated consumers. As far as Joe Sixpack is concerned, Dell is still a quality brand...Hell, you buy a computer from Dell, and it actually has a NAME on the front, as opposed to most of the computers you buy from Best Buy, Staples, and Walmart now.

I dislike Dell, and when people ask me why I say, "I find their tier two and three support to be unbearable, and I hate their proprietary hardware, and their tendency to skimp on things like montherboards." It makes people's eyes glaze over, and in their minds, they file it away under "Nerd crap that doesn't apply to me."

The bottom line is, for the average Walmart buyer, Dell will seem like a sexy, high-end brand, even if they're just dumping their low end stock on Walmart.

Better idea than what Gateway tried. (4, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258401)

I mean, who could have thought that having retail stores without immediate delivery was a good idea?

I disagree with what will happen to the perception of Dell's brand, they are big enough to withstand any ills that people might associate with Wal-Mart. Hell I am many others shop at Wal-Mart simply because of price. If low price is the story their selling its not something to be ashamed of. Plus Dell could be looking long term, get them into a lower end system through Wal-Mart and upsell them at a later date.

If Apple can go into Best Buy and survive the perception that many people of Best Buy sure Dell can handle anything from being associated with Wal-Mart

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258487)

Wouldn't you just LOVE to be the poor Indian Dell phone support worker suddenly facing a deluge of calls from hillbillies asking "Where's my Tab?"

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258577)

Wouldn't you just LOVE to be the poor hillbilly who has to talk to some dumbass CS guy in India who barely speaks english?

Mostly agree, but: (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258537)

Wal-Mart is ubiquitous. The other places are chumps by comparison. Wal-Mart has more upside. If the deal works, as you say, Dell could sell a lot of PCs.

Dell doesn't need the retailer to add value with service and support, since they do that themselves.

Dell has traditionally tailored their manufacturing to order. Now they get to see how many identical computers they can assemble and ship, by filling up a Wal-Mart warehouse or three.

That being the case, there may not be the kind of quality issues you hint at. Wal-Mart customers won't say, "Hey, I ordered four gigs of RAM, and all I got was one!" They'll just be buying what's in the box. So a whole class of initial quality problems is eliminated.

Re:Mostly agree, but: (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258989)

Now they get to see how many identical computers they can assemble and ship, by filling up a Wal-Mart warehouse or three.

Somebody please mod parent up, it's the first interesting speculation I've read in this thread as to why Dell is doing this. Mind you, they probably already know exactly what that number is (what? another vanilla order? Why doesn't anybody want a custom box, whaaa!).

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (2, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258539)

My local Walmart sells iPods.

'nuff said.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258563)

The real problem I see is simply does WalMart sell a lot of computers?
Yea back in the Commodore-64 days maybe but these days I would think that most people buy computers at Best Buy, CompUSA, or Circus City or any of the other Big Box electronics stores.
Could be wrong but that is they way I see it.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258723)

There's 40,000 people in the county where my hometown is. There is a Walmart and a Staples. Anything else is an hour drive or more. There are 100s of Walmart stores in locations like that.

Heeding the tale of Snapper (1)

kherr (602366) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258567)

Interesting article about Snapper leaving Wal-Mart [fastcompany.com] , because the company saw Wal-Mart pushing them to continually lower prices and supplying Wal-Mart also meant issues with huge inventory. Dell seems to be making a crazy (or desperate) decision here, since one of their strengths was always their low inventory overhead. It's like a complete about-face for the company.

Re:Heeding the tale of Snapper (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258797)

Snapper left because they sold high quality lawnmowers and Walmart was pushing them to put out a cheaper line. Dell doesn't sell particularly high quality computers, so the comparison breaks down pretty quickly.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

Arterion (941661) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258693)

Come down from tower, Mary. You can shop at Wal-Mart like the rest of us "cheap" worthless plebeians.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258753)

Will these Dells have the NASCAR logo on them?

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (2, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258833)

Either I'm missing something or this is a short-sighted move.

No offense, but you are missing something quite subtle yet extremely profound. It is no big secret that the prices of computers have plummeted over the last ten years or so. From the consumer's perspective, this is a great thing. However, this has the interesting side effect of making computer repair less economically attractive. In the age of the disposable society, people just dispose [nytimes.com] of their computer and buy a new one rather than spend money on repair.

This is where Wal-Mart comes in. They have thrived and to some degree promoted (even if unintentionally) the disposable society. Many things are so cheap that people just go buy a new one if their old one breaks. Selling computers at Wal-Mart is a natural fit for this mentality. While you don't want to sell lemons, you don't have to sell the top of the line $5000 desktop there (in fact, you wouldn't want to). Rather, just sell your low end and low margin PCs there and watch as every couple of years, a consumer buys a new one.

It is this kind of approach to selling low cost goods that led Snapper lawn mowers to refuse [fastcompany.com] to do business with Wal-Mart. Quality is one of their core values. Quantity isn't if it affects quality.

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258939)

Like almost every other product sold at Wal-Mart, I'm sure the Dell computers sold there will be of a much lower quality than the Dells sold everywhere else.

Just like everything else at Wal-Mart. Yeah, it's sold for less, but it's also a special model sold only at Wal-Mart made with the cheapest possible parts you can buy. So, when people buy your product at Wal-Mart, they are indeed getting an inferior product.

I remember a great story I read about some lawn mower/tractor company that refused to do business with Wal-Mart where a lot of these things were disclosed. Found it: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/102/open_snapp er.html [fastcompany.com] .

Re:Increase sales volume, destroy the brand (1)

astrashe (7452) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259009)

Lots of top brands are sold through wal-mart now -- coca-cola and apple ipods come to mind. Dell's brand will rise and fall on the quality of their products.

I think this is a good move because it addresses a couple of the weaknesses in dell's model. First of all, there are times when you need a computer *now* -- maybe an old machine has died, or whatever. You can't wait 10 days. Now you can go to wal-mart at 2am and buy a new dell. You'll get a good machine at a good price, so you won't be penalized because you're in a hurry. That's cool.

Second of all, a lot of people (non-geeks, mostly) are squeamish about buying machines they can't play with first. It's a big purchase, they don't feel confident that they know what they're doing, and they're nervous. They want to thump the melon before they buy it. These people all buy HP's now -- that's why so many non-geeks you know have HPs. Getting Dells into retail stores will give them a crack at this market.

Wal-Mart conducts its business in ways that have a lot of negative side effects -- they kill off main streets, they pay their workers very little and treat them in ways that I would never want to be treated. All of that is real, and it's important, and people are right to be mad about all of it.

But they do pass it all back to customers -- it's all part of an all consuming push to get the prices on the shelves as low as possible. I think it's hard to make an argument that for customers -- not suppliers, not employees, but customers -- wal-mart is a bad company to do business with when compared to outfits like best buy or circuit city.

This represents our first step into... (2, Funny)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258137)

... global dominatio... I mean retail...

Re:This represents our first step into... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258455)

Rachel Carson's Genocide
by Keith Lockitch (May 23, 2007)

On May 27, environmentalists will celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of Rachel Carson, the founding mother of their movement.

But Carson's centenary is no cause for celebration. Her legacy includes more than a million deaths a year from the mosquito-borne disease malaria. Though nearly eradicated decades ago, malaria has resurged with a vengeance because DDT, the most effective agent of mosquito control, has been essentially discarded--discarded based not on scientific concerns about its safety, but on environmental dogma advanced by Carson.

The crusade against DDT began with Carson's antipesticide diatribe "Silent Spring," published in 1962 at the height of the worldwide antimalaria campaign. The widespread spraying of DDT had caused a spectacular drop in malaria incidence--Sri Lanka, for example, reported 2.8 million malaria victims in 1948, but by 1963 it had only 17. Yet Carson's book made no mention of this. It said nothing of DDT's crucial role in eradicating malaria in industrialized countries, or of the tens of millions of lives saved by its use.

Instead, Carson filled her book with misinformation--alleging, among other claims, that DDT causes cancer. Her unsubstantiated assertion that continued DDT use would unleash a cancer epidemic generated a panicked fear of the pesticide that endures as public opinion to this day.

But the scientific case against DDT was, and still is, nonexistent. Almost 60 years have passed since the malaria-spraying campaigns began--with hundreds of millions of people exposed to large concentrations of DDT--yet, according to international health scholar Amir Attaran, the scientific literature "has not even one peer reviewed, independently replicated study linking exposure to DDT with any adverse health outcome." Indeed, in a 1956 study, human volunteers ate DDT every day for over two years with no ill effects then or since.

Abundant scientific evidence supporting the safety and importance of DDT was presented during seven months of testimony before the newly formed EPA in 1971. The presiding judge ruled unequivocally against a ban. But the public furor against DDT--fueled by "Silent Spring" and the growing environmental movement--was so great that a ban was imposed anyway. The EPA administrator, who hadn't even bothered to attend the hearings, overruled his own judge and imposed the ban in defiance of the facts and evidence. And the 1972 ban in the United States led to an effective worldwide ban, as countries dependent on U.S.-funded aid agencies curtailed their DDT use to comply with those agencies' demands.

So if scientific facts are not what has driven the furor against DDT, what has? Estimates put today's malaria incidence worldwide at around 300 million cases, with a million deaths every year. If this enormous toll of human suffering and death is preventable, why do environmentalists--who profess to be the defenders of life--continue to oppose the use of DDT?

The answer is that environmental ideology values an untouched environment above human life. The root of the opposition to DDT is not science but the environmentalist moral premise that it is wrong for man to "tamper" with nature.

The large-scale eradication of disease-carrying insects epitomizes the control of nature by man. This is DDT's sin. To Carson and the environmentalists she inspired, "the 'control of nature' is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy." Nature, they hold, is intrinsically valuable and must be kept free from human interference.

On this environmentalist premise the proper attitude to nature is not to seek to improve it for human benefit, but to show "humility" before its "vast forces" and leave it alone. We should seek, Carson wrote, not to eliminate malarial mosquitoes with pesticides, but to find instead "a reasonable accommodation between the insect hordes and ourselves." If the untouched, "natural" state is one in which millions contract deadly diseases, so be it.

Carson's current heirs agree. Earth First! founder Dave Foreman writes: "Ours is an ecological perspective that views Slashdot as a community and recognizes such apparent enemies as 'disease' (e.g., malaria) and 'pests' (e.g., mosquitoes) not as manifestations of evil to be overcome but rather as vital and necessary components of a complex and vibrant biosphere."

In the few minutes it has taken you to read this article, over a thousand people have contracted malaria and half a dozen have died. This is the life-or-death consequence of viewing pestilent insects as a "necessary" component of a "vibrant biosphere" and seeking a "reasonable accommodation" with them.

Rachel Carson's birthday should be commemorated, not with laudatory festivities, but with the rejection of the environmental ideology she inspired.

Direct (1)

DotNM (737979) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258139)

I guess they're not so "Direct" anymore.

Re:Direct (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258729)

Nah, Dell's still just as direct.

Want to buy from us directly? Sure, give us a call at 1-800-999-3355 (WWW-DELL).
Wanna peek at our machines, be wowed at how nice they look, then call us from home when you're ready to buy? Head into Walmart (and Costco, and eventually, K-Mart, Fred Meyer, Target and Fry's...).
Wanna buy a machine straight from Walmart? Sure, grab that little tag and bring it to the counter.

So Dell's listening to their customers who are saying "I'm not comfortable calling in an order for something as complex as a PC." How is this a bad thing?

Re:Direct (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258965)

Because, instead of going into a rant, you could have read his post. He is simply indicating that they are not solely "direct" anymore. He did not say there was anything wrong with it. Dell has, for years, maintained that direct was the only way to provide the lowest costs. This was their credo. Now that are going against what they have preached for years.

Nothing wrong with this. Just a change.

Union business... (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258143)

I wonder how this will affect Dell's business is pursues with the unions, given Wal-mart's rather extreme anti-union track record.

Re:Union business... (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258371)

I thought Dell had a pretty anti-union track record. They're a Texas based business (right to work state). Am I wrong?

Re:Union business... (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258443)

All I know is that several union establishments use Dell systems, and these same establishments avoid Wal-Mart like the plague, due to their aggressive anti-unionism. When push comes to shove, I wonder if the unions will have the courage of their convictions to seek another vendor.

Re:Union business... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258503)

TMM Welcome back :)
Do not forget you are speaker for the speaker for the council of the elders.
Please rectify your absence upon the next (dupe of a) Martian story.

Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258153)

Will at least one of the models have ubuntu pre-installed? that'd be awesome

Re:Ubuntu (0, Troll)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258249)

I doubt they'd have Ubuntu pre-installed. This reeks of a scam.

Walmart is huge, and putting cheap windows machines there will mean they will get bought by many. Then Dell can come back to sales figures and go, "See? We told you! Consumers just don't want Linux on their computers," and then discontinue the line. Microsoft leaves happy, Dell leaves happy, and the average customer doesn't even know what hit them.

I was WONDERING why Dell was getting so cozy with the idea of selling Linux machines without a lot of hoop-jumping.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258317)

Well, if you checked out the prices of the linux pc's, you'd find that the price didn't change much, if any. When I looked at them, they were almost the same price (if not exactly the same) as the rest of the pc's that were available with Vista or XP.

My guess is, they did it for 2 reasons.

1. Microsoft relations.
2. Profit.

So, it wasn't as glorious and cheap as everyone thought they would be.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258421)

Yea I really think all the Linux freaks lost out on the Dell deal. They wanted to get away with not paying for an operating system and therefore getting an even cheaper deal that dell already is. Now, since it costs the same, nobody will buy them and it will just prove even further how futile linux is outside of the server and workstation environment... as if it's usage rates didn't already show that =)

Re:Ubuntu (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258501)

I don't think it's a bad OS, but I also don't think that any *nix user is going to buy a Dell.

But, you're right about "since it costs the same", for one. Now that they're the same price, I see people actually grabbing a windows version, saving the license and installing the "free" OS as they do already.

Where's the point and laugh button?

Re:Ubuntu (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258943)

It's going to wind up with a big black cloud over any other big integrator (HP, eMachines, etc.) ever releasing an appropriately priced Linux OS machine... and therefore mainstream acceptance.

"It's not a viable plan, it didn't work with Dell." and the discussion will end there. Not only will the monoculture not be split, but this might completely eliminate the acceptance of preinstalled-linux as a method to give people a choice.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258993)

At least it won't fade out quickly, it's not like they have a ton of money into it. The option will still be there.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258633)

"get away without paying for an operating system"? More like "not being forced to pay for a specific operating system". If Ubuntu started to cost something, I'd pay it as long as it wasn't astronomical.

Anyway, Dell could sell a cheaper product with a free (as in freedom and price) operating system but its deals with Microsoft would go down the shitter. But don't you think those "outside the server and workstation environment" would buy the Ubuntu machine if it were cheaper (if not because they heard of the other benefits also)? Isn't it obvious that Microsoft is basically running an extortion racket?

Those "usage rates" don't exist in a vacuum or some sort of free market.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258949)


I doubt they'd have Ubuntu pre-installed. This reeks of a scam.

Walmart is huge, and putting cheap windows machines there will mean they will get bought by many. Then Dell can come back to sales figures and go, "See? We told you! Consumers just don't want Linux on their computers," and then discontinue the line. Microsoft leaves happy, Dell leaves happy, and the average customer doesn't even know what hit them.

I was WONDERING why Dell was getting so cozy with the idea of selling Linux machines without a lot of hoop-jumping.


What the heck. I heard this EXACT same argument, word for word, when HP announced Linux machines.

Yes, I'm sure Microsoft just has soooooo much pull with Dell that they could force Dell to make Linux machines, then partner with Walmart (changing their entire corporate strategy), just so they could intentionally fail just so Microsoft can create some new FUD.

My head hurts.

None of the Dell pieces of shit sold at Wal-Mart (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258165)

will have Ubuntu loaded. Dell and Wal-Mart can go to fucking hell for all I care.

Will they offer Ubuntu machines at Walmart ? (3, Interesting)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258169)

I suspect the answer will be no, but a geek can always hope.

Wal*Mart Bob (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258171)

I sure hope they bring back an elderly Microsoft Bob [telecommander.com] as a greeter for my computer when it boots up.

Re:Wal*Mart Bob (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258387)

I still have an MS-BOB CD (turned it into a clock face). In about 25....err...75...err...1,000 years when the copyright expires, I'll send you an ISO image.

Or maybe you can start an off-site back-up service similar to Iron Mountain. Then, I can make a personal back-up that I store at your "facility" in case my CD ever becomes unusable (and by unusable, I'm not referring to the actual lack of use of the software, but the inability to read the disk).

Layne

But will they run Linux? (4, Interesting)

solevita (967690) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258187)

Wow, a genuine reason to ask the question, you don't get one of those everyday!

Re:But will they run Linux? (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258435)

Of course they will run Linux. Whether or not they ship with Linux is the real question.

Re:But will they run Linux? (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258517)

True, but I'm never one to let the truth get in the way of a good(?) joke.

Finally they figured it out (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258203)

Somehow those who were purchasing their first computer were unable to buy it online.

Re:Finally they figured it out (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258381)

Somehow those who were purchasing their first computer were unable to buy it online.
Public library?

Re:Finally they figured it out (1)

colesw (951825) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258987)

Yes who doesn't want to use their credit card at a public library?

Re:Finally they figured it out (1)

aegisalpha (58712) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258389)

I guess they didn't have telephones either?

Re:Finally they figured it out (1)

prelelat (201821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258963)

OOooo I'm going to add one, Dell has these things in malls called Kiosks you can buy them their too. They have a bunch of stuff on display and they have I think at least one computer connected to the net where you can order one. I think thats how it works but I know you can order one there. :)

hmm... (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258209)

I guess anything is better than HP.

I wonder where they'll stuff them in their already cluttered electronics department?

Or, will they just have them on crates in the middle of the isles?

"Well, I'm going to go pick up some diapers, I'll meet you between the Dell and snack isles."

About time. (3, Interesting)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258243)

About time! Dell loses out on those that purchase those instore HP/Compaq machines. It shouldn't take much for Dell to actually compete in that market space, which would be good all round. Web sites + Shipping is good for some people, but for the crowd that travels to Walmart twice a week; it's just easier to buy something from a store that you are always in. Plus think of the builtin marketing of just having the machines in the stores.

Re:About time. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258581)

The problem with the computers that are sold for retail is that the specs are often out of whack with the price, and there are not options for configuration. The strong point of Dell is that you can configure a bunch of things with your computer, and also that they can upsell you by offering you speakers, keyboards, mice, and routers as you go through the checkout process. Most of the advantage of Dell is lost once you try to bring it into the retail market. The time between creating the specs for the machine and getting it into the customer's hands is too long to maintain an optimal price. I don't see how they'll be able to offer computers at wal-mart for comparable prices of what they offer online.

Oblig new slogan (4, Funny)

Degrees (220395) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258253)

Dude! You're going to WalMart!

Super Walmart Today (2, Interesting)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258291)

Went to a Super Walmart today. Loved it. It reminded me of Itoyokado in Japan.

Their PC section is o.k., I'd like to see them expand it and actually compete with Best Buy for the market share of "department store" PC retailers.

So, while there I bought:

  • A ladder
  • Blank DVD-R spindle
  • A new garden hose
  • Sausages for the BBQ tonight
  • The latest Linkin Park
  • Socks
  • Toothpaste
  • and eyeglasses

Next, I'll be able to replace my aging desktop. Coolness, where else but in America and in a Walmart?

Re:Super Walmart Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258547)

Umm... the super Target (Target Greatland), and the super K-Marts, and well, pretty much any other extremely large department store.

Re:Super Walmart Today (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258559)

Kmart/Sears, Dozens of 'all in one stores' across the nation. I mean, I would need to pass 10 other all in one places to get to wal-mart. Very often Wal-mart has less value then the other places.

Lower cost doesn't equal better value. Since Wal-mart has said they want throw away items bought year after year, I will gladly pay 25% more for something I will be using for 5+ years.

Re:Super Walmart Today (3, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258657)

Went to a Super Walmart today. Loved it. It reminded me of Itoyokado in Japan.

...

Coolness, where else but in America and in a Walmart?

I dunno, Japan in an Itoyokado?

I'm with you. (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258711)

In my Atlanta neighborhood, we've got a new Wal Mart where Chamblee-Tucker T's at Peachtree Industrial. It's a true one-stop for just about anything you could want, from food to building supplies. I sometimes go just to walk the aisles, see all teh stuff, and marvel at the prices.

Re:Super Walmart Today (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258785)

Super Walmart is a good store, however I've found that going to both Costco and ALDI are cheaper than Walmart especially if you wait for the Costco coupons and buy like 2 or 3 boxes of stuff. I have the executive Costco card ($100) and I've come out positive on the 2% rebate every year (usually $140 to $200) so throw in an effective free membership for me.

Re:Super Walmart Today (1)

dj_tla (1048764) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259079)

I'm curious about a few things... I'm from Canada, where I'm told our Walmarts are generally inferior; is there a difference between a Super Walmart and a normal Walmart?

Also, I used to frequent an Itoyokado for my weekly groceries, so I'll join in you in praising their variety of goods. But it seems to me like it exists for a different purpose than Walmart. Itoyokado offers convenience by being a one-stop-shop, but you pay for it (250 yen for an apple!?), Walmart endeavours to have the best price on pretty much everything they sell. It's like Itoyokado and a 100yen store in one! That's my opinion anyway. Plus, Itoyokado expands up while Walmart just widens ;)

A major change in emphasis (0, Troll)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258301)

Dell got its name by selling direct. Dell == Direct. After spending 20 years proving to everybody that "direct is better and cheaper", them selling direct thru a major distributor like Wally World is a major, major change in their product placement and emphasis.

They must be REALLY HURTING to go for a deal like this! For premium brands, it seems like selling thru Wal-Mart is the kiss of death. You could almost say it's like a TV show "jumping the shark" - either your company just sells cruddy products thru Wal-Mart or you have a flagging premium brand and you just want to cash in on what's left of your good name.

And, in case you have no idea what I'm talking about, take a look at The Wal-Mart You Don't Know [fastcompany.com] ...

Re:A major change in emphasis (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258477)

> Dell got its name by selling direct. Dell == Direct.
> After spending 20 years proving to everybody that "direct is better and cheaper",
> them selling direct thru a major distributor like Wally World is a
> major, major change in their product placement and emphasis.

Yup, but in this CBC article [blogs.com] they say they know that most of their customers will still buy direct. Note that the Ubuntu thing is mentioned in the same article, but I don't see a mention of any overlap there.

Re:A major change in emphasis (2, Insightful)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258869)

Except that Dell has sold through 3rd parties [costco.com] before. They're just adding one more. Yes, this is a bit of a shift in strategy. But I seriously doubt that even Walmart is big enough to bring down Dell's direct business model.

Will Dell sell a lot of machines through Walmart? Who can say? Will Dell get their name out there right next to HP, bringing their online and phone stores business that they might not have gotten before? You bet.

I think that's the ultimate goal here. If the individual units sell at Walmart is irrelevant -- this is one giant free advertising campaign.

Re:A major change in emphasis (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259051)

If they're not really hurting now, they may soon be...

Wal-Mart is known for brutally squeezing its suppliers for every possible reduction--year after year. Dell may only see a very small portion of its business through Wal-Mart, but it will become increasingly less profitable as they years go by.

While I understand the appeal of selling through Wal-Marts network of stores, I wonder if Dell ever considered that consumers who are just plain tired of Wal-Mart (I'm one of them--I think the whole place started to fail after Sam Walton died) and have a negative perception of the store will somehow carry over that opinion to their products. "It is a Dell, but Wal-Mart is selling it.--Ah, no thanks, I think I'll go to Best Buy..."

Parent is not a Troll (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259091)

BTW--the parent post is not a troll. I think it's a valid point that should have been left alone or flagged "interesting" or "insightful." My first thoughts were of "Dell==direct" too.

Daddy likes... (2, Insightful)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258307)

Yea, I'm glad somebody will have the opportunity of taking on Best Buy. I mean outside of Best Buy, are there really any PC retailers worth mentioning? It almost seems like you either buy your PC over the internet or from Best Buy... Now you can buy it from Wal-mart or Sam's Club. And if this works out well, you can probably seem some configure to order kiosks placed into these stores as well to add a better variety. Maybe some of you guys like Best Buy more than Wal-mart... But I don't think you understand just how evil Best Buy is on the actual level... Have you ever received Best Buy coupon's in the mail? Have you received them lately? If you haven't received them lately or you find your Best Buy credit account closed and told it's because you haven't purchased anything in a while.... realize these are all roadblocks used to slow move you away from using Best Buy because they have data mined you and determined you are not at the profit level they desire, no coupons for you!

Re:Daddy likes... (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258557)

"I mean outside of Best Buy, are there really any PC retailers worth mentioning?"

Apple?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Store_(retail) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Daddy likes... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258733)

CompUSA? On the west coast: Fry's Electronics? I think Radio Shack still sells pcs of one type or another. Probably missing a chain or two. Then there's the plethora of independents who are willing to put together a rig with off the shelf parts for you. Lastly there's me; the it guy who does the same, but I build 'em and get exactly what I want in a rig. So I could care less how many retail outlets are out there selling consumer pcs.

Re:Daddy likes... (1)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258767)

A good friend of mine own's an Apple store... An avg Best Buy stores does approximately 25-30k revenue per day in their PC department. During Christmas and drive times this number jumps up to 125k-200k per day. I know it sounds ridiculous, but those who aren't in the know... just don't know... Oh and my friends Apple Store avg's about 2-5k per day, and close 15k during Christmas and drive times. That's what I mean... when all PC retailers in a general area don't even equal up to the BBY's sales, they just isn't competition.

Re:Daddy likes... (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258655)

Best Buy is so evil they stopped sending me coupons! How on earth is lack of "3-day window" coupons a "roadblock to move me away" from Best Buy? That makes NO SENSE :-| No company is going to try and lure customers away, haha.

Re:Daddy likes... (1)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258907)

As I said, you don't get the coupon's =) If you like this is well-documented by the Wall Street Journal. I don't have the link handy, but Best Buy is the first and only major retailer to actively push for a particular customer base and has many tactics to discourage a certain segment of their base. Like did you know how they knew to not send you the coupons? Because of two things. They data mine your BBY credit card account and the reward zone. Reward zone is the most awesome thing to come along for Best Buy and it completely throws customers for a loop. You would think it's to encourage you to shop there more... but it's entire purpose (you would have to be on the manager level or higher to know this) was to data mine customers and actively target customers who are NOT profitable. With the Best Buy database, if you have shopped there a few times, I could probably tell you everywhere you have lived for the past 10-15 years plus I can also show you a lot of things regarding your lifestyle. The Best Buy database is designed to link and relink customers as much as possible. People move, get new addresses and stuff, but we data mine so many outside sources, that we are able to link you as the John Doe piss ass customer from Denver to the John Doe who just moved to Salt Lake City. I guess I shouldn't be disclosing this sort of information... but I love to secretly tell people how bad we are fookin them in the @$$ =) It's one of our thrills. Have a nice day!

Re:Daddy likes... (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258999)

Well, I actually get the coupons and yeah I know they data mine and all that... but I don't understand why anyone would want to *discourage* ANY customers. Isn't that just essentially throwing away some sales?

Bye dell (1, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258341)

There goes the last shred of any goodness Dell had left.

1. They will have to compete (on price) with the Walmart eMachines
2. Corporate sales will suffer. "We use the same equipment you can get at Walmart!"
3. The clueless will badmouth Dell & walmart for selling them a broken PC. We all know it was THEM that couldn't use it, but that's what the perception will be.

Maybe they can make it work. I don't see it as an up for them, though.

"more and new ways to buy our products" (2, Funny)

semiotec (948062) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258423)

I always wanted to buy a computer from the back of a stolen van in a dark alley, but I've been a bit worried about getting robbed in such situations. Do you think Dell can cater to my needs here?

Because... (2, Funny)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258427)

...we all love shopping at Wal-Mart so much. New Dell-Mart product lines to include the Double-Wide (2.67:1 screen aspect ratio), the RFD (includes special modem suitable for use on party lines and terminals for jumper cable power connections), Distressed (case already has buckshot pellet holes), and of course the American Traditions (deep woods camo case with storage for ammo and lures).

SIS working with Dell (4, Informative)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258429)

This announcement seems to go hand in hand with this story: "Dell pulls SIS into cheapo PC deal " http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=39 807 [theinquirer.net]

For those who don't follow links here is an extract:

TAIWANESE CHIPSET FIRM, SIS said it was working with big US shop Dell, to build a low-cost PC. SIS said its SiSM661GX chip set would form the heart of Dell's EC280 which is aimed at first-time PC buyers.

Re:SIS working with Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258605)

Are they coming also, perhaps, with the ODPC (One Dell per Child)? Now that would move the market down to cheap computers (Although wouldn't make Negroponte very happy).

Eh? (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258515)

selling two of its Dimension desktop computers in in about 3,000 Wal-Marts

Who the hell is going to want to buy 1/1500th of a computer?

Re: Eh? (4, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258615)

Well, that's what I feel like I have now with Vista installed.

Fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19258565)

I must say that I'm impressed with the relatively short time span from announcements to implementations at Dell. Of course, it's very likely that lots of work had been done before someone was told to inform the press, but it's interesting nonetheless, compared to the constant procrastinating going on in other computer businesses. :)

(Please correct any grammar mistakes there may be, if you have the time.)

Hell Freezes Over (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258771)

Wow, I posted this [slashdot.org] today and got modded up. I figured writing something positive about shopping at Walmart would get all sorts of negative mods on /.

Next you know, praising Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer will boost your karma.

Give Ben Curtis His Old Job Back... (1)

LEX LETHAL (859141) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258799)

...and cue the new Dell catchphrase:

"Dude, you're getting our Everyday Low Price."

First they offshored the help desk, (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 6 years ago | (#19258823)

then the QC went to hell in a hand basket [google.com] , now they are partnering with the single most malefic retail entity [walmartwatch.com] on the planet.

So the next commercial should say "Dude! Why the hell get a Dell?"
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