DALLAS -- Dell Inc., a company known for selling computer systems directly to consumers and businesses, yesterday unveiled plans to open its first two full-sized retail stores this year.
The 3,000-square-foot stores will be located at high-traffic shopping malls in Dallas and West Nyack, N.Y. The Dallas store is set to open this summer and the one in New York in the fall, a spokesman said.
Sticking with its direct-sales approach, the stores will only carry display models. Consumers will still have to order online or over the phone and then wait for their purchase to arrive in the mail.
``We're adamant about staying true to the model. That's very important to us," Dell spokesman Venancio Figueroa said yesterday. ``We also know given our track record with customers that they actually prefer home delivery."
In a research note, analyst Cindy Shaw of Moors & Cabot Capital Markets said the move raises questions about Dell's confidence in its direct sales approach.
``We view Dell's store pilots as either an acknowledgment that retail matters in some segments and/or a signal management will try anything that might stimulate revenue," she wrote.
Dell already operates about 160 tiny ``Dell Direct Stores" at malls and airports across the country. The 120-square-foot kiosks had room for about 12 products; Figueroa said the much larger store s will display three times as many items and include settings such as a living room area where consumers can test Dell products .