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Apple, Dell Launch New Retail Formats

Cupertino, Calif. – Apple Computer and Dell Computer have separately announced new formats for their respective stores and kiosks.

Apple, whose chain of 87 company-owned retail stores average about 4,000 square feet, has developed a new 750-square-foot shop concept whose lower overhead and smaller size will allow them entrée into venues with limited real estate, such as airports, smaller malls and neighborhood shopping districts.

The mini stores, reportedly inspired by the Mini Cooper automobile, will feature stainless-steel walls, seamless white floors and ceilings, and self-checkouts. Their edited assortment will include notebooks, desktops and iPods, and, like their predecessors, they will provide on-site repairs and “Genius Bar” service desks.

The first six mini stores opened this month in Palo Alto, San Jose and Santa Rosa, Calif.; Tukwila, Wash.; and Bridgewater and Rockaway, N.J.

Meanwhile, Dell has developed a new home vignette design for its Dell Direct retail kiosks that incorporates the company’s latest home entertainment products, including plasma and LCD TVs. The first four retrofits will be completed later this month in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, said Michael George, Dell’s VP/general manager, U.S. consumer. The company currently maintains 80 inventory-free kiosks in shopping malls and airports around the country, having recently expanded into California.