NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Apple Computer Inc. is pulling its computers out of major national retailers to focus its efforts exclusively at CompUSA, the nation's largest computer retail store chain.
The decision by Apple, announced Monday, is the result of slowing sales of its Macintosh line of computers. While Apple has a devoted legion of users, its market share has been dwindling as consumers have moved toward personal computers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple (AAPL) said it chose to channel its efforts through CompUSA after being pleased with its new "store within a store" approach, which sets aside an area exclusively for sales of Macintosh products. That strategy began last November.
As a result of Apple's decision, it no longer will sell Macs through such national chains as Circuit City, Computer City, Office Max and Sears. Last week, Best Buy said it will drop Macs from its computer offerings.
Interested consumers also will be able to buy Apple products at regional retail chains, specialized Apple dealers and through catalogs. Apple also will continue to sell its products at its online store, which has registered strong sales of $15 million since its inception.
Thus far, the teaming of Apple and CompUSA (CPU) has been successful. Apple estimated that at the 148 CompUSA locations, it has increased the percentage of Mac sales from 3 percent to 14 percent of total CPU sales.
Apple Senior Vice President Mitch Mandich said the change in its selling strategy was needed.
"These have been very important business relationships, but we believe it's an important time to move away from them," he said. "This does not represent a retreat from retail, but instead a redefinition of what the retail buying experience will be for our customers."
The move is part of an ongoing attempt by Apple to gain back market share in the home computer sector.
The company recently announced a fiscal first- quarter profit of $47 million, the first for the struggling computer maker in more than a year.
However, it has posted more than $2 billion in losses over the past two years. Interim Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs has cut thousands of jobs and made many management changes in an attempt to right the company's finances.