The IT Threat
Gateway now offers flat TVs and other CE products direct to customers through its network of 190 stores. The company's own data shows that about three-quarters of customers who buy plasma TVs stop by a Gateway store to test out the model they have in mind, even though they ultimately order the system over the Web. "TVs are big-ticket items that people are used to seeing first hand before they buy them," Edwards says. "Our recently redesigned stores have been an absolutely critical factor in the success of our digital TV line."
In addition, Gateway's new product fulfillment program, is based on supplier partnerships and in-house consolidation. Once it is fully implemented, the new program will save $115 million to $130 million annually.
"We have spent the past six months transforming our products, our retail network and our marketing efforts," says Gateway Chairman and CEO Ted Waitt. "But we're also completely redesigning our sourcing, logistics, service and support systems to create a more efficient infrastructure as the backbone of the new Gateway."