IBM told retailers late last week it will pull out of the consumer PC retail market and go with a direct model starting in January.
Big Blue cited its inability to turn a profit in brick-and-mortar retailers with its Aptiva PC line, but left the door open to return if the company could develop a business model that would allow IBM to make money. The move is part of a restructuring effort announced earlier this month to its personal computer group that includes 1,000 layoffs and consolidating Aptiva PCs, ThinkPad laptops and Netfinity computer servers under one marketing umbrella.
OfficeMax will be the sole retailer retaining Aptiva PCs through the IBM stores that are now being test marketed by the office supply chain.
Ahron Schachter, VP and GM of New York retailer DataVision, said IBM was just never able to get its act together in the PC market. "IBM always has its heart in the right place, but could never deliver."