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Amazon Enters PC Retailing Fray

8/29/2001 10:29:00 AM Eastern

Seattle - Amazon.com jumped into the slumping PC retailing category today with the opening Amazon Computers.

The e-commerce giant's newest stand-alone online store, found at www.amazon.com/computers, opened its virtual doors on Sept. 1 with more than 100 PC and notebook SKUs from Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, IBM and Toshiba available. Jumping into PC sales during the worst sales period the category has ever experienced is daunting, but Amazon firmly believes that in the future consumers will buy their PCs online, said Richard Chin, general manager of the store.

'The share of PCs purchased on the web is now about 15 percent,' he said, 'but we expect 30 to 40 percent of these sales to be transacted on the web in the near future.'

For the most part the PCs and notebooks are the only new products in Amazon's merchandise mix. Customers can already find a wide array of computer peripherals, digital cameras, software and handheld computers at the company's CE store. But to help stock the PC store and keep down confusion the products will not be shifted to the computer store, but offered in both, Chin said.