updated 9/3/2004 9:49:31 AM ET 2004-09-03T13:49:31

The electronics and entertainment giant Sony Corp. is talking with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. in an effort to boost sales by shipping to U.S. discount chains with which it previously did little business.

"We want to carry out business with Wal-Mart and Costco more aggressively," Daichi Yamafuji, a Sony spokesman in Tokyo, said Friday. "We see them as important sales channels."

Sony's U.S. sales in the past have been mostly through consumer electronics stores such as Best Buy Co. and Circuit City Stores Inc., and those sales will continue, he said.

The selling power of discounters is rapidly growing in the United States, and discount stores have been instrumental in boosting sales of Sony's South Korean and Chinese electronics rivals.

He said Sony has been in talks for some time trying to get more products on Wal-Mart and Costco shelves.

In the fiscal year that ended in March, Sony's electronics sales in the United States accounted for 26 percent of its global sales.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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