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Dell to target emerging markets

PC retailer hopes in-store presence will boost first computer purchases

PC retail giant Dell, best-known for online and telephone sales of its products, is hoping that its recent push into bricks-and-mortar stores will help it to dominate emerging markets, particularly where customers are looking to purchase their first computer.

"Five hundred thousand new users are coming online every day, and a large proportion of these are in emerging economies," said Michael Dell, CEO, according to Reuters.

And he went on to cite strong mobile phone sales in those markets as a sign that consumers would move into the PC market soon: "Users tend to buy their first PC about three years after buying their first cellphone," he said.

At an Economist conference, Dell explained the process the company uses in India in which, although a store wouldn't stock inventory, a sales assistant would explain the benefits of various configurations to a customer in person using the Dell website.

The company has also identified Russia as a strong market for potential, with EMEA chief Pam Dale calling the country "robust" and revealing plans to double staff numbers there to 100 by Christmas.

The debate over the strength of the PC gaming market rages in the West, with consoles hitting some genres hard while titles like Football Manager and World of Warcraft continue to demonstrate growth annually.

But in Asia, according to EA's Asia-Pacific president Jon Niermann, the market is totally dominated by online PC gaming, something which the publishing giant is looking to make an increasing impression on.