Supermarket giant Tesco has gone head to head with PC resellers thanks to deals which will see it selling Siemens Nixdorf and Fujitsu PCs at discount prices.
The Tesco trial follows Fujitsu's efforts to slash prices after a damning report from analyst firm Inteco into European PC pricing. It revealed the average total spend for a PC in the UK was #1,393, compared with #1,194 in France and #1,012 in Germany (PC Dealer, 24 June).
A Tesco representative said: 'We are doing a small trial in two stores at the moment - Siemens Nixdorf in the Pitsea store and Fujitsu in the New Malden store. Both trials will run for a few weeks. We are dipping a toe in the water to see how it goes.'
The Fujitsu PC will be a Pentium II 266MHz, priced at #799.99. Frank O'Brien, UK sales director at Fujitsu, said: 'It's about #250 cheaper than in traditional PC outlets and the majority of that saving is coming from the supermarkets not demanding as much margin.'
Jeremy Davies, analyst at Context, said: 'It could have a significant effect on PC retail if it succeeds. It removes the entry level market from the main electrical and PC retailers. This could really blow up - it's only a matter of time before other supermarkets start playing catch up.'
The sales model is already working on the Continent, with Fujitsu recently providing 46,000 PCs for German supermarket chain Lidl, which also has stores in the UK.
Bryan Taylor, managing director of Fujitsu UK, added: 'We are determined that this is just the start of a revolution that will provide a better deal for the British consumer.'
Tesco has also set itself up as an internet service provider. TescoNet will provide internet access for #8.99 per month.
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