Wal-Mart to Offer Dell Desktop Systems

Mega-retailer Wal-Mart has announced a deal with Dell Computer which will have Wal-Mart offering Dell desktop computer systems for sales in its U.S., Canadian, and Puerto Rican retail outlets this June.

Details on the computer models haven’t been released uet, but they will be made by Dell exclusively for Wal-Mart, and go on sale June 10 in about 3,000 North American Wa-Mart and Sam’s Club locations. One model offered in the U.S. will be dubbed a Dimension Multimedia Desktop Computer; Dell will also manufacture separate exclusive models for sale in Canada.

“Our customers trust in Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club to provide the most convenience and best value on today’s top products and services,” said Gary Severson, Wal-Mart’s senior VP of Home Entertainment, in a release. “Dell is a proven electronics brand and adds a new compliment to our other high quality desktop selections, and we’re very excited to now bring our customers new access to a product they want, with the ability to purchase a Dell right away.”

The move marks a departure from Dell’s long-standing business practice of only selling machines directly to customers, eschewing traditional retail channels. However, as Dell struggles to compete with Hewlett-Packard and sees its share of the U.S. and worldwide computer market in steep decline, newly-reinstated CEO and founder Michael Dell has characterized the direct sales model as something less than religion, and hinted the company was considering retail opportunities. The Wal-Mart deal would appear to be Dell’s first move into retail channels; Dell is likely to follow it with additional moves into the worldwide retail market.

Wal-Mart says details of its exclusive Dell models will be available soon.

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