Apple Computer will announce this week that it will name CompUSA its sole national retailer of Macintosh computer hardware. The move comes a few months after CompUSA started creating Macintosh "store within stores" in its massive superstore locations. While retailers such as Circuit City, Computer City and Best Buy will stop selling Macs (Best Buy announced such last week), independent Apple dealers will continue to sell the machines, as will Apple via its Web site and direct-to-education channel.

Before last Christmas, Apple tried to convince retailers to boost their Macintosh presence, though few were willing to try. CompUSA responded, however, with their special store-within-store areas, and sales shot up.

Apple spokesperson Rhona Hamilton says that Apple is "excited" about CompUSA's efforts. Apple now believes that a single strong retailer such as CompUSA--which operates in 67 major markets--can do a better job of promoting Apple than a larger group of uncommitted retailers