You no longer need a PC to order one from Micron Electronics. The direct PC vendor, which sells built-to-order PCs on its Web site (and by phone), is teaming with Best Buy to offer MicronPC.com systems via kiosks in stores across the country.
Through the kiosks, you can order Micron's full line of configurable Millennia desktop PCs, but not its ClientPro business PCs. About 15 of the kiosks will be in Best Buy stores starting in mid-March, and Micron executives say kiosks should reach all 357 Best Buy stores in 39 states within the next few months.
The arrangement should work for everyone: Micron, Best Buy, and especially consumers, says Joel Kocher, Micron Electronics chair and chief executive officer.
The deal serves home PC buyers because, traditionally, retail stores can't manage inventory fast enough to always offer the newest technology, he says. Consumers who want a PC with the newest CPU often must shop online. The MicronPC.com kiosks let you walk into a Best Buy, talk with a Micron-certified salesperson, and order your dream PC.
"This allows customers to order a machine the way they want it," Kocher says. The company will deliver the PC in three to five days, or even faster for a fee, he says.
The Minneapolis-based bargain retailer gets to set the price, and can expand its PC selection to high-end units, Kocher says. Until now, Best Buy was largely relegated to selling mid- to low-end PCs, where profit margins aren't as high. Kocher expects the company to set prices at levels comparable to Micron's own.