Lenovo is setting up shop with Best Buy.
The PC maker has struck a deal to allow Best Buy For Business, which are business-oriented annexes inside 135 Best Buy stores, to offer customers the ability to order from its entire Lenovo U.S. PC product line.
Lenovo is aiming to continue expanding its scope with small and midsize business customers by reaching them in person. The SMB is a market the company has been pursuing since purchasing IBM's PC business nearly a year ago. Lenovo has had a minimal presence in retail, mainly selling direct and through distributors such as CDW.
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"This is basically Lenovo's next play for reaching the small business customer," a Lenovo spokesperson said. But "this isn't a big retail play for Lenovo; it's a new route for SMB customers."
Best Buy For Business Stores won't stock any inventory of the Lenovo machines, she said. However, Best Buy customers will be able to order from Lenovo's catalog of ThinkPad notebooks, ThinkCenter desktops, as well as its recently-announced Lenovo 3000 computer line, which specifically targets smaller businesses, and peripherals such as displays for those machines.
Best Buy will also sell the machines via the Web and telephone.
The deal is Lenovo's second major retail outing. On Nov. 6, 2005, Office Depot began stocking and selling two ThinkPad models at its stores.
The Office Depot alliance was also designed to target small business customers, but is different from the Best Buy arrangement in that Office Depot keeps some inventory on hand. The space has long been a target of PC makers, due to it sheer size.
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