Dell, Wal-Mart Sign Retail Pact

Dell has entered into an agreement with Wal-Mart that will put its desktops in 3,400 of the chain's stores beginning June 10, retailing for under $700.

Although exact details of the PCs have not been released, the companies said the desktops will be built exclusively for sale at the world's largest retailers.

The deal marks the first time in 15 years that Dell has not been involved directly in the sale of its machines. While the company recently began selling its PCs in retail, they were through company-owned outlets. It did also sell clearanced machines through Costco for a period of time.

With Wal-Mart, it appears that the company is changing its ways. A Dell spokesperson described the deal as "our first step" into global retail, possibly indicating that the company may be working on other deals as well, although it declined to talk about any possible deals.

Two Dimension desktop models will initially be offered in Wal-Marts in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. No details were given as to whether the company planned to eventually sell its laptops through Wal-Mart as well.

"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," Wal-Mart senior vice president of Home Entertainment Gary Severson said.

Partnering with Dell is part of Wal-Mart's plans to remodel and expand its electronics section of its stores. The company is increasingly looking to top-name brands as a way to entice more affluent customers into its stores to help sustain its growth.

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