Piles of unshiftable HP fondle-slabs choke Best Buy

Staff can't get about in stores as 'OuchPads' stack up

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Crates of HP fondleslabs are mounting up stateside at Best Buy as it emerged the retailer has shifted less than one-tenth of its 270,000 strong unit order.

Evidence is mounting that HP's shiny slate, dubbed the OuchPad in the US, is failing to capture the attention of shoppers on both sides of the Atlantic, as indicated by shipment figures for Europe earlier this week.

According to All Things Digital, Best Buy flogged 25,000 of the devices – not factoring returns into the stats – and is trying to clear some square footage in its stores by asking HP to take some back and knock a bit off its bill.

News of the issue has reached the upper echelons of HP's personal systems group, with boss Todd Bradley due to meet with Best Buy to figure the best way resolve the situation: maybe he'll roll up his sleeves and hit the sales floor.

Other US retailers – including Wal-Mart, Micro Center and Fry's Electronics – are also facing the same dilemma, despite a series of price cuts.

Closer to home, HP sold 12,000 units in UK channels during July – 15,000 in western Europe – but this dropped to just 100 units in the first week of this month, Context data revealed.

HP Europe dropped prices this week by low double digits, but this is not nearly enough to prise Apple fanbois away from the iPad.

Anecdotal evidence points to distributors sitting on a load of HP tablets, so further price cuts may be inevitable. ®

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