Dell is about to expand beyond its traditional direct-to-consumer sales channels in a big way: by making a deal with Wal-Mart. The struggling computer maker and the world's largest retailer announced today that Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores will start carrying Dell Dimensions next month. The two exclusive models will be part of bundles that sell for less than $700.
Hewlett-Packard has seized the top spot in the industry from Dell, which made its name by customizing PCs for customers who ordered online, over the phone, and at freestanding kiosks. Founder Michael Dell returned to the helm in January, and today's move into big-box retail is just one part of the company's strategy to right itself.