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    Dell expands its retail arms to Japan

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    Dell Inc. is all set to sell a variety of computers at Bic Camera stores in Japan. The company will sell XPS M1330, Inspiron 1520 and 6400 notebooks as well as the Inspiron 530s desktop at 22 stores beginning early August.

    The two companies are going ahead on the relationship terms that they had built up since 2000, when Dell began putting kiosks in Bic Camera stores and other retail outlets. At the kiosks, customers could order Dell products and have them shipped, but could not walk out with a computer.

    It’s a “great way for Dell to connect with customers we haven’t necessarily reached in the past,” said Chris Cowger, Dell Consumer vice president of business development, in a statement.

    Until last year, Dell dominated the PC business by selling systems directly to consumers and businesses over the Internet or telephone, at a savings to customers.

    Spokesman Bob Kaufman said Dell was not abandoning its direct-sales model. Rather, he said, the company was looking to reach even more customers who prefer retail over online or telephone ordering. “An overwhelming majority of our customers prefer to buy direct,” he said. “We’re just adding another capability.”