Acer to set up retail kiosks for partners

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Acer Computer is deploying a series of kiosks via its retail partners, aimed at stealing some SMB thunder from white-box vendors and brands such as Dell and IBM.

Acer Computer is deploying a series of kiosks via its retail partners, aimed at stealing some SMB thunder from white-box vendors and brands such as Dell and IBM.

Greg Mikaelian, national channels manager at Acer, said the vendor would launch its new retail business model and kiosks 11 June.

Acer was providing bolt-on hardware to selected retail partners – such as Harvey Norman and Dick Smith Electronics -- which would be loaded with the Acer e-commerce software that its retail partners already used, he said.

Mikaelian said Acer's move targeted direct seller Dell as well as IBM online and whitebox brands, which were strong in the SMB market.

'In Australia, the white-box market is big and very substantial, especially in SMBs,' Mikaelian said. 'Because most of the vendors in the channel haven't offered a viable solution and we expect to pick up a lot of incremental business for our retailers as a result.'

Dell hit headlines recently with plans to open its own retail outlets, rolling out a limited number of sales kiosks in places such as shopping malls.

'A number of years ago, when [US vendor] Gateway left the Australian market, David Jones approached Acer about coming up with an e-commerce solution [it could offer to its customers],' he said.

Customers would get similar functionality using the kiosks that they got by logging on to Acer online, such as the ability to customise products, save quotes for seven to 14 days and get orders delivered within two, three or five working days, Mikaelian said.

'What we find is that most of our business is through channels now, and we did that about three, four years ago,' he said.

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