Target is to pull the plug on Amazon’s Kindle in all its outlets, and has already removed them from its online store.
Target was the first bricks-and-mortar retailer to carry the device, launching it across its stores nearly two years ago. But the last shipments will go out this month – and once they’re gone, they’re gone, probably by the end of May. Accessories such as covers and chargers will disappear too.
The company’s being tight-lipped about the precise reasons for its decision. But it’s presumably because it’s had enough of selling a product that acts as a gateway to its competitor.
The Kindle Fire allows customers to browse Amazon’s online shop – and buy products they could be getting from Target instead. Indeed, many people are now using electronic devices to compare prices in-store – and then buy items from Amazon. Amazon’s even offered discounts to customers that do this: it’s hardly surprising if Target finds it a little galling.
Another reason could be that there’s truth in the rumors that target is planning to let Apple open mini-stores within a number of its branches. Apple’s done the same with Best Buy, as well as other stores in the past.
The Kindle has been a big seller for Target – it was the best-selling tablet on the day after Thanksgiving last year, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.
And, until now, Target has been one of the biggest outlets for the device – in the real world, that is – with nearly 1,800 stores. But with the vast majority of Kindle sales now happening online, Amazon’s not likely to be too worried.