San Diego - Gateway will plunge into the world of CE retailing by greatly expanding the list of non-PC products sold through its Country Store chain, including a Gateway-branded 42-inch plasma display TV.
The plan has Gateway's 300 Country Stores stocking 150 CE devices everything from digital cameras to MP3 players to satellite and cable services. Actually stocking these products in the stores s a major departure for Gateway which had declined to even stock its core PC products choosing instead using the locations as a place for customers to pick a PC then place an order for mail delivery. The company had relaxed this policy lately and has stocked a few PCs in each store for immediate pick up.
Exactly what is going to be carried, outside of the 42-inch PDP, which is to be officially introduced in early November, will be announced on Nov. 4. The stores already carry a limited number of digital cameras, software and other computer peripherals, but this list will be greatly expanded.
In a written release, the Gateway executives said the key to its success with this project will be the chain's trained sales staff and that all the devices will be connected to PCs so customers can gain experience with the products prior to purchase.