NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Struggling through what is shaping up to be one of the weakest holiday seasons for PC vendors in recent history, Gateway said Friday it will begin carrying inventory in all 320 of its Country Store sales outlets.|
The San Diego, Calif.-based company typically sells computer systems on a build-to-order basis, meaning customers specify the features they want and then Gateway custom-builds it for delivery at a future date.
But the company said it will stock its Country Store outlets, which normal are used as showrooms and sales outlets, with a selection of popular systems available for customers to take home immediately.
By doing so, Gateway is hoping to boost purchases by last-minute holiday shoppers.
Gateway spokesman Brad Williams on Friday stressed that the new sales program is temporary and will only remain in effect until Christmas Eve. In all, the company plans to stock 5,000 units for sale in the stores, an amount he said the company expects to easily sell within that time frame.
"The slowdown in PC sales has been pretty well documented, and we're trying to give consumers a reason to buy," Williams said.
Going even further to encourage consumers to buy PCs for the holidays, Gateway said it will accept orders on certain PC systems until 1:00 p.m. ET, on Dec. 23 and, for an additional shipping and handling charge, guarantee overnight delivery on Christmas Eve.
Beginning this Saturday, Gateway stores will have in stock: the Essential 700 PC with an Intel Celeron processor for $799; the Essential 866 Digital Photo PC with an Intel Pentium III for $1,299; and the Select 1000 Digital Music PC with an AMD Athlon processor for $1,599.
As have most PC-related companies, Gateway recently warned investors that it will fall short of its current quarterly revenue and profit targets, blaming a slowdown in consumer PC sales, particularly in the United States.