Target will stop selling all Kindles, including the Kindle Fire this Spring. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Wired.com
Amazon might make America’s number one e-reader and Android tablet, and that’s a powerful position. But for all its brand equity, Amazon can’t stop one of America’s largest brick-and-mortar retailers from pulling its hardware from store shelves.
The Verge reported last night that Target was phasing out its Kindle inventory. After the story broke, Target released a statement saying it would be removing all Kindle devices and accessories in spring 2012.
But the retailer isn’t getting out of the e-reader space entirely: “We will continue to offer our guests a full assortment of e-readers and supporting accessories including the Nook,” said Target’s statement.
The Verge reported that a source said Amazon devices were being pulled from stores because of a “conflict of interest.” Whatever that conflict may be, Target isn’t saying.
The most plausible scenario is that Target is concerned about selling a device made by a direct competitor in the retail market. Currently, Amazon has an app that allows consumers to price-check items within brick-and-mortar stores. So, if an item is cheaper on Amazon’s site, customers can quickly purchase the item from Amazon while standing in a Target shopping aisle.
Wired contacted Amazon about Target pulling its products, and had not heard from the company as of press time.