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Dell Scraps Its Kiosks

Dell Inc. is closing its 140 'direct store' kiosks in the U.S. as it moves to sell its products through retailers like Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY) , the computer maker said Wednesday.

The 120-square-foot kiosks, set up at malls and airports around the country, let customers speak with sales representatives about computers, digital cameras, printers and other products. They had room for about 12 products shoppers could touch and feel before they bought them directly from Dell.

The world's No. 2 computer maker, which built its business on selling PCs directly to customers, has been expanding into retail to better compete with rivals such as No. 1 Hewlett-Packard Co. Besides Best Buy, Dell sells computers at stores such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Staples Inc. in the U.S.

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