Dell is locked in negotiations with a premium high-street brand as part of its ongoing retail expansion strategy, according to sources close to the vendor.
As revealed late last year, in an attempt to compete more effectively in the consumer PC markets, Dell joined forces with DSGi and Tesco in the days running up to Christmas.
These deals kicked off in January and should contribute to Dell’s volume aspirations, but individuals close to the US hardware supplier have revealed discussions with UK retailer John Lewis are at an advanced stage.
"Dell is trying to make sure it has a presence in a mix of retail stores. Unlike Apple, it is seen as a cost conscious purchase, so it is trying to position itself alongside a premium brand in John Lewis stores," said the source.
Matthew McCormack, EMEA consultant at analyst firm IDC, said Dell’s direct sales model had restricted its notebook sales in the UK, while Hewlett-Packard grew from less than 200,000 units in 2005 to more than 500,000 in 2007, and Acer sales in the same period soared from 170,000 units to nearly 600,000.
"Dell has been moving into retail stores," said McCormack. "John Lewis would allow its XPSS high-end gaming and entertainment machine to reach a [premium] market it is not currently penetrating."
Dell declined to comment and John Lewis was unavailable to comment.