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Sears To Carry iMacs Starting May 31

Apple reports that Sears will join CompUSA as the second nation-wide iMac dealer starting on May 31 and will start shipping two new G3 PowerBook before the end of the month.

Whether Sears will follow CompUSA’s lead and create an Apple “store” inside its computer departments were not available. However, Sears will carry iMac USB-based peripherals including printers and storage devices, said, Mitch Mandich, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide sales.

Sears, with over 800 stores, was a logical choice for the iMac. “One in three iMacs is being purchased by a first-time computer buyer, and we believe Sears broad geographic coverage and a loyal customer base can help us reach even more of these new customers,” said Mandich.

Apple had been in the market for a second national retailer since Best Buy dropped the hot selling line in January when the chain became angry over Apple’s distribution policies. When the new iMacs were rolled out in January Apple complicated retailer’s inventory situation by requiring all its retailers to buy iMacs in at least 40 unit lots, eight of each of the five colors. This policy has been slightly relaxed.

The iMac’s feature a 333MHz G3 PowerPC processor, 6GB hard drive, 32MB of RAM, networking card, and 24x CD-ROM drive.

The two PowerBooks are business class units powered by 400MHz and 333MHz G3 PowerPC processors. Street prices will be $3,499 for the former model and $2,499 for the latter. Both feature a slimmer design than previous PowerBook models, weigh in at 5.9 pounds and 14.1-inch display. The 400MHz unit will incorporate a DVD-ROM drive and the 333MHz a basic CD-ROM drive.