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In a direct hit against Hewlett-Packard, Dell has once again been out making friends in the retail sector. The company signed a deal with UK retail giant Diversified Systems Group on Dec. 13 that will make its PCs available to consumers across Europe.

The vendor, which last week launched its solution provider program, has been heavily focused on signing retailers, and the latest deal means that Dell equipment is now available in over 10,000 stores worldwide.

The deal will see Dell notebooks and desktops available in all of DSGi’s (Diversified Systems Group) UK stores; PC World, Currys and stores in the UK, as well as Dixons’ online store. It will also help Dell to expand its retail presence across Europe, as DSGi has stores in Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Mark Ormerod, vice president and general manager of consumer business for Dell’s EMEA operations, said in a statement: “This partnership with DSGi means that consumers in nearly all major European countries can purchase Dell products through these stores. To maximize choice, Dell is offering a full portfolio of …products, from our high-end gaming systems, to notebooks and desktops. With this agreement, consumers in Europe will have more choice than ever before, and experience the look and feel of our products before purchasing.”

To read more about Dell’s channel program, click here.

However, HP is currently one of DSGi’s most dominant vendors, although the retailer also has close relationships with Acer and Asus.

Alastair Edwards, senior analyst a UK-based analyst firm Canalys, said from Dell’s point of view, it needed to sign DSGi. “This move will give Dell an incredible amount of reach,” he said. “DGSi has very good market share in the consumer segments, especially in places such as the Nordics.

“This is all part of Dell’s big change in strategy; to using retailers and channel partners,” Edwards continued. “Suddenly the tables have turned; once where Dell being direct gave HP a strategic advantage, now Dell is using the channel. However HP’s advantage is still there because Dell right now is still taking baby steps in the channel.”

In the past several months Dell has announced relationships with Best Buy and Staples in the United States, Carrefour in Europe, Courts stores in Singapore, Gome stores in China, Bic Camera in Japan, Carphone Warehouse in the UK and Wal-Mart in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Mexico.