Hypermarket chain Carrefour will sell Dell's consumer PCs through its stores in France, Spain and Belgium beginning next year, Dell said Friday.
Dell chose Carrefour because it is the world's second largest supermarket chain, after Wal-Mart, and is present in numerous European countries, said Thierry Labbé, director-general of Dell France and responsible for major accounts in Europe. Carrefour also has operations in Latin America and China, which would be useful if Dell ever wanted to extend the relationship there, he said.
Dell recently struck distribution deals with Wal-Mart in the U.S., Bic Camera in Japan, mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse in the U.K., and consumer electronics retailer Gome in China.
In France, Dell expects to sign further distribution agreements with music or electronics retail outlets by the end of this year, Labbé said.
Dell is also looking at three ways to address the French market for business PCs.
In vertical markets such as pharmacies or hair salons, which need specific combinations of software and hardware, it will use value-added resellers (VARs). It will also seek out partners specializing in storage and servers, two growth areas for Dell, Labbé said. The third approach will be through large systems integrators like Capgemini, Atos or Accenture.
"You'll never see us working with resellers that don't add value," he said. "For volume sales to large accounts, we will continue to sell direct."
Dell will sign its first distribution deals in the enterprise sector in the first half of 2008, he said. The company is still building its own sales team for these markets.