Wal-Mart to sell custom-built computers

— 2:20 AM on May 4, 2006

Wal-Mart will expand its PC retail business in over a third of its discount stores this month by offering made-to-order computers. According to a Reuters report, customers will be able to create "customized packages they can load in a shopping cart and take home right away," with choices ranging from processors to monitors, keyboards, and mice. The initiative was tested in 20 of Wal-Mart's stores last year, but will now reach 1,200 stores out of the company's 3,200 US locations. While the prospect of Wal-Mart moving into custom-built PC segment may seem like a threat to Dell, analysts tell Reuters this is unlikely as Dell has "mastered the made-to-order computer model and offers a much wider selection." However, another analyst for Forrester Research claims: "If Wal-Mart is competitive on price -- which of course it will be -- it's easy for Wal-Mart to be a destination."

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