Dell said on Thursday it plans to start selling personal computers through Wal-Mart Stores in North America next month, breaking from a 23-year model of direct sales as it tries to rekindle business.
Dell, which called the move a "first step" into the
retail market, will start selling the computers
bundled with accessories for under $700 starting
The world's largest retailer will sell two models of
Dell's Dimension multimedia desktop computer, which
are now available directly from the computer maker.
Dell is expanding in retail stores to compete better
with Hewlett-Packard, which has overtaken Dell as
the world's No. 1 PC maker, partly through a
strategy of selling in the United States through
major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Circuit City
Stores and Best Buy.
The combination of Wal-Mart, famous for low prices,
and Dell's Dimension desktops, the company's
lowest-priced consumer models, may deter some
upscale buyers, said J.P. Gownder, an industry
analyst at market researcher Forrester Research Inc.
Dell's retail expansion comes after Taiwan's Acer
the world's third-largest PC maker, began selling
PCs at Best Buy, Circuit City and Wal-Mart.
China's Lenovo Group Ltd. also said last month it
planned a new consumer business unit as it faces
stiff competition from HP, Dell and Acer.
Dell plans to add additional retailers in its top 10
to 15 markets, including Britain, Germany, France,
Japan, China, Brazil and Japan.