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Dell PCs added to Staples diet

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Dell is hammering yet another nail into the coffin of its original direct-only business model — or to be trite, Stapling it in.

The world's second largest PC vendor said today it is adding another retailer to the picture by flogging products at 1,400 US Staples stores.

The launch, pencilled for November 11, starts with a small selection of Dell PCs, printers, monitors and lots of high-margin ink.

Computers to be sold at Staples will include 1721 and 1521 notebooks and Inspiron 530 desktops. Printers vended will be Dell 948 and 926 all-in-one inkjet printers and 1320c laser printer. For monitors, Dell is sending Staples the SE198WFP 19-inch widescreen flat panel LCD and E228WFP 22-inch widescreen flat panel LCD. Staples will also be selling ink and toner for most Dell printers.

Dell's relationship with the office supply giant is another step in its strategy to "ramp up" retailer and reseller partnerships after decades of shunning the practice. The effort aims to combat lost sales to PC vendors such as HP and Lenovo which have no such qualms about selling their products in other people's stores. Dell maintains, of course, that retail offerings won't supplant its core direct business model.

Dell has already inked deals to sell selected desktops though WalMart stores in the US and Canada, pondered indirect sales in Europe and extended deals with deal with Bic Camera stores in Japan and Gome stores in China to sell its machines. ®

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