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Time teams up with Tesco

Changes direct-only tack

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Time is teaming up with Tesco to flog PCs through the UK's biggest supermarket chain. The pair are trialling the line in selected stores for two months and are targeting sales of approx. 6,000 units.

Dependent on sales volumes, the deal could turn into a long-term partnership. This isn't the first time a UK supermarket chain has flogged computers - Asda, WalMart's UK sub, has been there, done that, and... no longer stocks PCs.

So is the UK ready again for a PC sales through mass-market grocery stores? Time thinks so - it reckons that computers are no longer 'destination items'. And educated first and second-time buyers will spot the good deals on Tesco shelves. Time's Tariq Mohammed, marketing director, puts it somewhat more flamboyantly: the deal "allows us to hit people who would not visit a computer shop with fantastic entry level computers at a brilliant price".

Unlike the usual Time build-to-order model for direct sales, the Tesco SKUs are pre-built in one-(soon to be two)- size-fits-all model. This means that punters can get instant gratification, taking away their PC at time of purchase. Time says it can ensure supply does not outstrip demand by keeping build volumes low, "therefore customers do not buy goods whose value has depreciation while being stored in warehouses, as can be seen in other retail channels".

First up is a model incorporating AMD 1333MHz CPU; 256MB memory, 40GB hard drive; CD-RW drive and DVD drive; and 2.1 megapixel digital camera, a bundle of 19 software titles; 1 year warranty (supplied by Time). It costs &799.99 (inc. VAT). The PC is packaged in one box - for easy display and sale. It hits Tesco on 22 May.

Next up, is a cheaper model - no spec yet - out in June.

Time is the UK's biggest AMD customer, and one of AMD's five or six biggest customers in Europe. ®

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