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Dell Tests Retail Waters With Sears Deal

Customers will be able to place orders via in-store kiosks.

Dell has struck a deal with Sears, Roebuck and Co. to sell its PCs in 10 of the department chain's stores, according to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters on Thursday.

The stores-within-a-store will not stock systems, but will only allow customers to test-drive possible configurations, then phone in or place their orders from an online kiosk.

On Wednesday, Dell opened its first such store inside a Sears in Austin, Texas.

While both Apple and Gateway have retail outlets now to supplement their online sales, Dell's approach is more conservative, according to a Dell spokesman, and is just another way to extend the company's traditional direct-to-the-customer business model.

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