Dell's recent venture into the consumer electronic market with its plasma TV and Dell DJ lines paid high dividends during the holiday selling season.
Claire Bennett, Dell's consumer electronics director, said the company quickly ran through its supply of enhanced and high-definition plasma models, creating a six week backlog that still exists. Supply is expected to catch up to demand in another month or so, she said.
“We were very pleased with the plasma launch,” Bennett said, “sales could be four times higher then we expected.”
Bennett said the waiting list did not deter customers who purchased new TVs despite being informed of the six-week lag in delivery. This willingness to wait was due to consumers desire to buy a Dell-branded set and the very low prices the company was able to offer, she claimed. Overall, the HD products outsold the ED version, despite having a significantly higher price tag.
Dell's 2004 holiday sales put to rest any thoughts that consumers will not purchase large, high-priced items directly from a vendor, Bennett said.
“Because of Dell's PC history the customers know the brand is solid,” she said.
Dell DJ sales not only performed better then expected, but became a magnet for attracting new people to Dell.
“Fifty percent of customers who bought a DJ were new customers to Dell,” Bennett said.
She credited the company's massive print and TV advertising campaign for making people aware that Dell started selling hard-drive portable music playwers. The DJ was prominently displayed in Dell's weekly newspaper insert and in one TV spot.