Richmond, Va. — Velocity Micro will take its second step into retail this summer with the debut of several desktop and notebook computers at select Circuit City locations.
Velocity Micro will place between one and two notebooks and two to three desktops in about 50 Circuit City locations nationwide starting on July 22, said Velocity Micro founder/CEO Randy Copeland. The notebooks will be the new NoteMagix X20 and X25, but details on which desktop models will be carried are not yet ready. Circuit will also carry these and additional models on its Web site. A configure-to-order engine is being created for the Circuit Web site, but it will not be available at launch, Copeland said.
While the majority of Velocity Micro’s business is done direct to consumer, Copeland said a retail presence is necessary to satisfy the large portion of Americans who are not yet comfortable buying computers online.
“Plus, our aluminum [PC] case is something to behold in person,” he said.
Velocity Micro’s Circuit City offering will mirror the PC vendor’s traditional merchandise mix that is aimed at performance and gaming PC users who are interested in higher-end products. The initial in-store models will cost between $1,300 and $2,000, but much higher-end models, priced up to $3,000, will be available online.
Velocity Micro’s initial foray into retail took place two years ago via a partnership with Best Buy. That chain currently carries two Velocity desktop SKUs, Copeland said, but desktops could find their way back into Best Buy in the future. The two chains will not carry the same computers and the preconfigured computers carried by Circuit City could vary from store to store depending upon the local customer base, Copeland said.
Copeland said Circuit City had approached his company about a retail partnership at the same time as Best Buy, but the two companies were simply not ready to do business at that time. The number of Circuit City locations carrying Velocity Micro computers is likely to follow the same path as what happened at Best Buy where 40 stores came on at first, slowly building to the current 350, he said.
However, Copeland said that while there is interest from other retail chains, he is unlikely to expand his brick-and-mortar relationships any further.