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Gateway exits direct PC sales business

updated 11:50 am EDT, Fri July 25, 2008

Gateway Exits Direct Sales

Gateway on Friday revealed that it will formally quit direct-order sales of PCs and other products and offer its lineup only in retail stores. The surprise move ends the business that underpinned Gateway's early success in the 1980s and 1990s but is described as bringing the American company's approach in line with that of its parent company Acer, which took over Gateway last year and itself offers computers only through resellers. Moving to a single model is also said to save on costs by simplifying Gateway's sales process.

No timetable is given for the transition.

The decision marks a significant about-face for Gateway, which began exclusively as a direct business but tried branching out to retail during the late 1990s and early 2000s with its own-brand stores. The effort ultimately floundered in part due to Gateway's insistence that no stores keep their own stock; customers could try example systems but were asked to order systems online or via phone if they wanted to commit to a sale.

It ultimately returned to retail through third-party vendors such as Best Buy and has enjoyed moderate success that contributed to moving rivals such as Apple and Dell into third-party retail stores, although the company only moved into third place among PC vendors after the Acer acquisition joined the two Windows PC makers' market share.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good riddance....

    They were junk anyway.

  1. itguy05

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So is Dell

    but unfortunately they are still around.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Plus those stores

    Anybody remember Gateway Country? What a crazy idea that was, a computer company selling computers directly to customers in a physical store!* What ever made them think that would work?!

    *I know I know, their folly was that customers didn't actually walk out of the store with a computer.

  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yee Haw

    The problem with Gateway Country for me was that I'd rather walk into a post-modern design experience than an indoor cow pasture.

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh goody!

    Now I get to use my favorite word to use in an ironic context:


  1. scotte75ky

    Joined: Dec 1969


    times change

    I remember in the late 80's and early 90's when Gateway was considered top of the line.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: good riddance

    They aren't going away. You'll just have to go to a store to buy them.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I thought there would be no more Gateway computers.

    Internet selling is supposed to be the cheapest. One central stocking location, etc. If Gateway/Acer can't do that, then they are doomed.

    Apple does both retail and intarweb. Wonder why it works for them? Remember when "they" said that the retails stores wouldn't work? Ha!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: oops

    Well, 30% margins certainly help in allowing it to work.

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