Note: This blog was updated at 10:30 a.m.
Dell is broadening its retail presence, and on Monday announced a distribution agreement with Staples.
Desktops, notebooks, printers, ink and toner from Dell will be sold in 1,400 Staples stores and on the Staples Web site beginning November 11. Dell Inspiron 1721 and 1521 notebooks, Inspiron 530 desktops, Dell 948 and 926, 1320c laser printers, and two flat-panel LCD monitors will be the first products to hit shelves.
Dell decided to go with Staples because of its wide reach, and because of its commitment to customer support, according to Michael Tatelmen, Dell's vice president of global sales and marketing. The agreement between the two companies has no expiration date set yet, and Tatelman says Dell plans on updating its offerings through Staples in the future.
The agreement between the office supplies giant and the Round Rock, Texas, PC maker shows Dell is getting serious about a retail strategy, which the company has been hinting at since May. It announced then that it would sell a few desktops and notebooks through Wal-Mart Stores and Sam's Club, which signaled a major shift in its sales model. The move puzzled some because it appeared the company wanted it both ways--dabbling in retail while still refusing to back away completely from its longtime direct-sales model.