Dell's CEO has been dropping rather big hints that it may unveil a series of retail stores in the UK.

For 22 years Dell has practice direct sales via catalogues and its website, but it seems it may be breaking with tradition.

It set up a store in Dallas, Texas, in the state where the company is based, in order to test the efficacy of the retail outlet and possibly to enhance its presence on a high street with Sony and Apple shops.

“The test store is exceeding our expectations”, said Kevin Rollins, the Dell CEO, to The Sunday Telegraph. “We could possibly try a number of markets, particularly where we have a fairly large consumer base, and the UK is on of those.”

The UK was Dell's first international market.

Unlike Apple's successful stores, Dell's trial store doesn't sell any machines. “It's a physical extension of the direct model”, the director of the pilot programme told the Statesman, “so customers can touch and feel the products”.

Dell's policy is to build each machine to order.