APPLE GOES DISCOUNT? Superstores may sell company's products


DALLAS -- Apple Computer Inc. is expected to announce plans to sell products through superstores at a news conference scheduled Friday in Santa Clara, Calif.

Separately, industry sources said that CompUSA, the Dallas pioneer of computer superstores, is training its staff to begin selling Apple Macintosh products the week beginning June 9, shortly after Apple discloses its latest "channel strategy."

As previously reported, that strategy appears to include the "channel" known as superstores, the discount outlets that CompUSA created when it was known as Soft Warehouse.

"We may have an announcement" concerning superstores at the Friday conference, said Betty Taylor, a manager in Apple USA's business markets unit.

She would not comment on whether that announcement

includes or is limited to an arrangement with CompUSA, the $600 million Dallas retail chain.

Apple would become the first of the three major U.S. personal computer brands to sell products through the cut-rate, high-volume stores. CompUSA president Nathan Morton said his firm also has discussed selling machines made by the other two, International Business Machines Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp.

PD If Apple expands its sales strategy to include superstores, Comp

USA likely would not be the only such chain selling Apple products, analysts believe.

Already selling Apple products are the Intelligent Electronics and Computer Factory chains.

The Apple products likely will be in CompUSA stores by June 10. Prices have not been disclosed.

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