LEVALLOIS PERRET, France: Carrefour, world number two retailer after Wal-Mart and Europe's largest supermarket chain will from January 2008 offer Dell Computer products off-the-shelf.

The exclusive deal marks a retreat by the struggling US computer-maker from its longstanding business model of selling only via direct methods - although this latterly extended to a number of Dell-branded showrooms and order-taking outlets

Carrefour currently operates in three major markets: Europe, Latin America and Asia. With a presence in thirty countries, over 52% of group turnover derives from outside France.

Initially it will offer Dell brands at nearly four hundred of its larger outlets across France, Belgium and Spain.

The retail giant also plans to extend distribution of Dell products to other European countries, although this excludes the UK where it has no presence.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff