Dell plans to begin selling desktop PCs in Wal-Mart Stores in the next few weeks, the first move in a major departure from its decades-long sales strategy.
Wal-Mart plans to sell the Dimension E521 in more than 3,000 retail locations in the United States, Samir Bhavnani, research director at Current Analysis West, told CNET News.com.
UPDATE, 5/24 7:15 a.m. PT: Initial word was that the Dell PCs would go on sale this weekend. A representative for Wal-Mart on Thursday morning said that the PCs are slated to be in stores on June 10, with two models each offered in a bundle priced below $700. Details on the PCs were not provided. Sam's Club and Wal-Mart Canada stores will carry different models.
(Original post continues.) "Finally, Dell has addressed one of its main problems by giving customers a chance to touch and feel its products," Bhavnani said. "Dell's going to be touching a lot of people who weren't necessarily looking to buy a PC."
The move follows a pronouncement by founder and CEO Michael Dell that the PC maker would be making a major push in commercial reseller and retail channels. Dell, which has long relied on direct sales, had flirted with retail before, but it had no specific programs for training and technical support to offer resellers.
Dell announced earlier this month that it would begin providing many programs and strategies to help resellers move the Round Rock, Texas, company's products.
"I think you'll see Dell showing up in a lot more retail locations--not only here in the U.S. but also in major countries around the world over the next several quarters. So stay tuned," Dell said in an interview with CRN.
To see CNET News.com's analysis of the retail maneuver, see "What Wal-Mart means to Dell."