The news is buzzing with Dell's announcement to close their retail kiosks...

"As Dell's Global Consumer business continues to evolve, the company today announced that it will close its 140 kiosks in the United States.
"The Dell Direct Store model, which began in 2002, enabled customers to touch and feel Dell products before purchasing systems direct from the company. In the past six months the company has adopted a retail strategy that enables Dell to connect with customers it has not necessarily reached in the past. Dell is applying the advantages of its direct business model into retail where customers can purchase laptop and desktop computers in more than 10,000 retail outlets worldwide."

If you are a follower of the Dell IdeaStorm site, this is old news... 

"Dell should open a retail store very similar to the Apple store. I know that they have small kiosks inside malls that they try to sell Plasma TV's and a couple laptops next to a guy selling knock off sunglasses and verizon cell phone sales sharks! Very unprofessional. Open a classy Dell Store and offer Tech support right in the store just like the Genius Bar in the Apple Store."

It's not clear if Dell will also close their full-size stores, where you can try-before-you-buy systems rather than buy them directly.  And I think this shouldn't impact the relationship Dell has with major big box stores (Best Buy, Wal-Mart) that already carry Dell systems.

Kiosk DisplayOf course, Canadians can still enjoy shipping at their Dell Direct Kiosks, as it appears that the kiosks will remain a staple at Canadian malls, as well as other areas where they don't yet have established brick-and-mortar retailer partners.  So, my friends north of the 49th parallel now have these kiosks exclusively in addition to Smarties, Tim Horton's, and the world's largest hockey store

As Dell says, at these 14 Canuck kiosks "you can talk to a Dell expert face-to-face to find the perfect Dell PC for you." 

Have you visited one of these kiosks?  If so, what was your experience?

Tags: computers, retail, Dell.