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Dell To Sell Computer at Sam's Club

Dell Inc. will sell a notebook computer model at Sam's Club warehouse stores beginning next week, a company spokesman said Friday.

The announcement follows Dell's decision to begin selling two personal computer models at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. beginning this weekend. Wal-Mart owns Sam's Club.

Dell spokesman David Frink said the Round Rock-based computer maker would sell copies of the Inspiron 1501 at Sam's Club stores.

The 1501 is a general-purpose notebook that usually starts at $649 but was offered Friday for $549 and up on Dell's Web site. Frink called it one of the company's most popular notebooks.

Some analysts panned Dell's decision to offer only two lower-priced desktop models at Wal-Mart stores. They said consumers want to see and touch notebooks before buying.

"This is an additional step in our emerging retail strategy," Frink said of the decision to sell the Inspiron at Sam's Club.

He said Dell will announce deals with other retailers in coming months.

Dell has always relied on selling PCs and other products directly to consumers and business customers over the phone and Internet. Dell appears to be tweaking its strategy since losing its lead in PC shipments last year to Hewlett-Packard Co. and since founder Michael Dell returned to his former role as chief executive in January.

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