NEW YORK -Dell Inc., the world's second-biggest maker of personal computers, will sell notebook and desktop PCs through Best Buy Co., expanding its push into retail to challenge larger rival Hewlett-Packard Co.
The computers, including Dell's first all-in-one desktop machine, the XPS One, will go on sale at some 900 US stores in the next few weeks, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said yesterday. Best Buy is the biggest US consumer-electronics retailer.
Chief executive Michael Dell has put his PCs in more than 10,000 stores since retaking command of the company in January. His entry into retail after years of direct sales began with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in June.
Retail "won't cannibalize" Dell's direct-sales business, Michael Tatelman, head of global consumer sales and marketing, said in an interview. "Some people will shop online and then go to the store, and vice versa."
The company's computers will share space at Best Buy with models from Hewlett-Packard, Apple Inc., Acer Inc., and Toshiba Corp. Best Buy sells more PCs than any other US retailer, including Wal-Mart, according to Traqline, a Louisville, Ky.-based company that collects retail data.
Hewlett-Packard has leaned on a network of about 100,000 retailers to sell PCs, particularly the notebook models favored by consumers. In the calendar third quarter, its shipments rose 17 percent in the United States, the world's biggest PC market, according to research firm IDC in Framingham.
"Dell is getting its lunch eaten by HP," said J.P. Gownder, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge. "In the age of style in personal computers, Dell had no choice but to play in the realm of HP."