There's no indication of whether Dell SA will be following its US parent in selling PCs through retail outlets, although it's likely to follow suit within the next few months.
A range of desktop computers from Dell will go on sale in retail stores in the US next month (June), signalling a change in strategy for the company which made the direct sales model its own.
The move is widely considered to be a response to ongoing market share losses against major rival HP, which is outstripping Dell in the consumer PC market.
Rob Nunn, marketing director of Dell SA, says the local operation hasn't received any information about whether the move will be duplicated in other parts of the world.
"I'm sure it's part of a broader strategy," he says. "Usually a strategy starts in the US and then filters for through the rest of the world.
"But we've had not indication on when or if it will reach South Africa."
From 10 June, two desktop models will be available in 3 000 Wal-Mart stores across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, retailing at about $700.00 each.
Dell made a previous foray into retail, in about 1991, but this is its first major move in that direction since and could herald the start of a new strategy. There have been recent reports that the company is considering an indirect channel strategy and the Wal-Mart announcement could be an opening gambit.
A Dell spokesman has been quoted as saying the customers have told the company they want alternative ways of buying their computers – and that the Wal-Mart deal is simply a first step.