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Dell's growing retail presence is aimed at shoring up declining sales by attracting customers who prefer to see computers before they buy them.
Office supply retailer Staples on Monday said it has agreed to sell Dell computers, monitors, and printers at 1,400 stores nationwide, becoming the latest retailer to help the computer maker move beyond its traditional direct sales model.
Along with in-store sales, Staples agreed to offer Dell products through its Web site. The initial products offered through Staples include Inspiron 1721 and 1521 notebooks, Inspiron 530 desktops, 948 and 926 all-in-one inkjet printers, 1320c laser printers, SE198WFP 19-inch wide-screen flat panel LCD monitors, and E228WFP 22-inch monitors. Staples also will offer ink and toner for most Dell printers.
"We know our customers will appreciate the ability to see, touch, and immediately take Dell products to the home or office," said Ron Sargent, chairman and chief executive of Staples, in a statement.
Experts say Dell's lack of retail outlets has placed the company at a disadvantage among potential customers who prefer to see computers before they buy them. To boost sales among consumers, the company has partnered with retailers in China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Russia. These deals mark a major shift in strategy for Dell, which had a retail presence near zero last year and depended on direct sales either by phone or over the Web.
In promoting its new offerings, Staples said customers who buy Dell products Nov. 11-17 can have their office technology recycled through Staples at no charge. The retailer normally charges $10. The promotion is part of Staples support for America Recycles Day Nov. 15.
Dell is almost halfway through a major reorganization that followed declining sales, primarily within the consumer market. The company, which is the second-largest PC maker in the world behind Hewlett-Packard, is trying to regain market share with new consumer products and a retail strategy.
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