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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 23:33 GMT 00:33 UK
Wal-Mart to sell Dell computers
Founder and chief executive Michael Dell
Michael Dell returned to lead the firm's recovery earlier this year
Computer firm Dell has announced plans to start selling personal computers through low-cost retailer Wal-Mart.

The move marks a major push by Dell into the retail market after years of relying on direct sales through the mail, phone orders and the internet.

It is hoped the strategy will boost Dell's chances against Hewlett-Packard, which overtook Dell last year as the world's biggest PC maker.

Additional retailers will be added in Dell's top 10 markets, the firm said.

Today's announcement with Wal-Mart represents our first step... Stay tuned
Bob Pearson
Dell spokesman

Initial plans are to sell Dell's lowest-priced Dimension multimedia desktop computers, also available directly from the computer maker, in about 3,500 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

They will be sold bundled with accessories for less than $700 (352) from June 10.

Fighting back

"In the coming quarters, there will be additional activity in support of this move into global retail," said Dell spokesman Bob Pearson.

"Today's announcement with Wal-Mart represents our first step. Stay tuned."

But no further details were given.

Dell shares closed down 1.41% to $25.94 in New York trading on concern that profit margin will be squeezed by the cheap computers.

The firm, founded by current chief executive Michael Dell in 1984, has struggled with slowing sales, complaints of poor service and a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into its earnings.

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