Dell to sell AMD-powered PCs at Wal-Mart

Known for its direct-sales business model, Dell is about to make a drastic departure from that model. The Associated Press reports that Dell plans to start selling two of its desktop computers in Wal-Mart stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico starting June 10. According to a Dell spokesman quizzed by the AP, the Wal-Mart deal is Dell’s “first step” into global retail, and additional deals will be announced in coming quarters.

The two machines headed to Wal-Mart stores are variants of the Dimension E521, which is one of Dell’s cheapest desktop machines. The Dimension E521 starts at $359 on the company’s website, and in its base configuration, it includes an AMD Sempron 3400+ processor, 512MB of DDR2-667 RAM, a motherboard with integrated Nvidia GeForce 6150 LE graphics, a 160GB hard drive, and a copy of Windows Vista Home Basic. Thanks to TR reader Eric for the tip.

Comments closed
    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    Expect these to have even more corners trimmed than the usual Dell. Special variants indeed.

    It’s weird that they’re selling desktops. Admittedly, that’s where they can cut costs the most, which is all Walmart cares about, but laptops (a) are inherently more profitable, and (b) are a much higher-growth segment (more demand), and (c) are more “personal” in the sense that people are more reluctant to buy them without trying out the keyboard, screen, etc, so there’s more opportunity for Dell to capture sales it is currently losing to other OEMs with big box presence (ie HP).

    • Corrado
    • 12 years ago

    I mentioned it in the forum thread, and I’ll say it again.

    Dell would be much better served to put their retail kiosks in WalMart stores than let WalMart do the selling for them. This way Dell is in charge of knowing the systems, not some random yokel that works at WalMart and doesn’t care either way. Probably keep support down a bit too. Get more exposure by having the dedicated kiosks but also keep some stock on hand so people can leave with a PC that day. Don’t just take orders like the mall kiosks are.

    • My Johnson
    • 12 years ago

    I wonder how bad the pin action is going to be. Wal-Mart will pressure Dell on costs, and Dell will in turn pressure it’s suppliers.

    • bdwilcox
    • 12 years ago

    Wal-Mart was disastrous for Lite-On with their DVD-Recorders, so I wonder if it will become a support nightmare for Dell.

    • Entroper
    • 12 years ago

    I was shocked when I read the headline, but really, I think it makes a lot of sense. Dell has built quite a name for themselves with their direct model, so I don’t see why they shouldn’t be selling boxed PCs at Wally World and other retailers.

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