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HP to widen range of products sold direct

Expands Web site to sell printers, more PCs

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Hewlett Packard is beginning to show every sign that it will eventually ditch its channel partners and go direct. That will mean it will follow in the footsteps of both IBM and Compaq, as extensively reported here. In an expansion of a pilot scheme which HP started earlier this year, the company said that it will now offer more products online, including its lucrative range of printers. Earlier this year, HP refuted suggestions that it would cut out its channel and said that products sold on the site would be fulfilled by its partners. The move will also threaten sales of its products through its network of retailers. But the bottom line is that if it sells more products on its online site, there is little reason for it not to use couriers like UPS and Fedex to deliver products to people's doors. HP has not had a good year and will be seeking for ways to compete against the Dell Corporation, in a similar manner to both IBM and Compaq. ®

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