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Dell To Sell Through Staples

10/22/2007 03:19:00 PM Eastern

Round Rock, Texas — Dell has added Staples to its growing roster of retail partners.

Beginning Nov. 11, the office-supply chain will carry a wide assortment of Dell notebook and desktop computers, monitors, printers, ink and toners within in its 1,400 stores and online at staples.com.

Staples will be the only retailer to carry Dell products within the office-supply channel.

The deal represents the latest leg of a new retail strategy by the computer maker, which is looking to recapture market share by moving beyond its original consumer-direct distribution model. Dell initiated the new policy in June by opening up distribution to Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club with two exclusively configured Dimension desktop models. It also continues to sell products through Costco and QVC.

The tactic may be gaining traction: Dell’s third-quarter shipments were up 3.5 percent year-over-year in the U.S., according to IDC and Gartner, although it continues to cede market share to Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Acer and others manufacturers.

Staples’ initial offering will be the most expansive to date. The assortment will include Inspiron 1721 and 1521 notebooks, Inspiron 530 desktops, Dell 948 and 926 all-in-one inkjet printers, Dell 1320c laser printer, Dell SE198WFP 19-inch widescreen flat-panel LCD monitor and the Dell E228WFP 22-inch widescreen flat-panel LCD monitor. Additionally, Staples will offer ink and toner for most Dell printers.

“With Staples, we are underscoring our commitment to listen to customers and deliver what they want — new and exciting ways to experience Dell’s award winning products with the same great prices and convenience,” said Michael Dell, chairman/CEO.

Staples’ chairman/CEO Ron Sargent added, “We know our customers will appreciate the ability to see, touch and immediately take Dell products to the home or office. By becoming Dell’s first comprehensive retailer in the Americas, and deepening our offerings with one of the world’s most respected brands, we’re making it easy to buy great technology products this upcoming holiday season and beyond.”

Goldman, Sachs retail analyst Matthew Fassler believes the addition of the Dell line could boost Staples’ same store sales by 1 percent or more.

Staples will also join Dell’s “Plant a Forest for Me” initiative which facilitates the planting of trees in sustainably managed reforestation projects, and will allow customers to recycle office technology for free with the purchase of any Dell desktop, notebook, printer or monitor at Staples’ U.S. stores from Nov. 11-17. The service otherwise carries a $10 fee.

Dell extended its retail strategy offshore by selling through Gome stores in China; Bic Camera in Japan; Carphone Warehouse in the United Kingdom; and Wal-Mart in Canada, Brazil and Mexico. The addition of Staples will bring the total number of storefronts carrying Dell products to more than 10,000 worldwide.

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