Bits & Bytes
THE ONE, THE ONLY--THE BIG BLUE FACTORY-OUTLET STORE
It seems that every company in the clothing business has a factory-outlet store. So it was only a matter of time before the idea caught on in the computer business. On Feb. 12, IBM cut the ribbon on a 13,000-square-foot factory-outlet store in Morrisville, N.C., near Big Blue's personal-computer plant in Raleigh.
What's IBM going to offer the price-conscious shopper? Not hard-to-come-by models or the latest in multimedia technology. The outlet will carry refurbished products and models that have been slow sellers--at 10% to 40% off list prices. There will be models representing most of IBM's PC lines, including PS/2, PS/1, ValuePoint, and ThinkPad, as well as computer monitors and other accessories. All products will come with a 15-day money-back guarantee. But don't count on a Big Blue outlet opening near you. IBM says the Morrisville store will be the only one.EDITED BY IRA SAGER