Dell is testing a repair and installation service for electronics products sold in Dallas-area Wal-Mart stores, according to Wal-Mart.
"For Wal-Mart, the program provides an opportunity for us to understand more about what our customers need and expect in home installation and technology services, within a specific market," according to a statement on Wal-Mart's Web site. "These Solution Stations will provide our Dallas-area customers with added services, repair and consultation so that they can reach the best solution and value for their home entertainment technology needs."
Wal-Mart's Solution Stations could be the retailer's answer to services offerings by competitors, including Best Buy's GeekSquad and Circuit City's Firedog initiatives.
Wal-Mart said there are no plans to expand the service outside the Dallas area at this time. The retail giant started selling Dell PCs and notebooks in June 2007, but the Solution Stations are believed to be the first time the two companies have combined on a services offering.
A Dell spokesman said the services pilot will include performing services on non-Dell devices too. "The point of this is to be able to offer customers some of these beyond-the-box services that will help them build out their digital home infrastructure," the spokesman said.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the Solution Stations will be staffed by Dell employees and some repair and installation services will be performed in customers' homes.
Wal-Mart plans to charge $29 to install memory in a PC in the store and $99 at home. To install a wall-mounted TV, connect cables and integrate three video components, it is charging $289, according to the newspaper.