Target, one of the biggest retailers in the US, has decided to remove the Amazon Kindle from its online stores and final shipments of the league-leading e-reader will also happen by the middle of the month – effectively ending the presence of Amazon in Target stores all across the country.
Target’s decision to remove Amazon’s Kindle reader from its stores is a huge move that has definitely caught the media’s attention. According to various sources it was a conflict of interest that made Target decide to drop the Kindle from its stores. But the official statement of Target says otherwise:
Target continually evaluates its product assortment to deliver the best quality and prices for our guests. Target is phasing out Kindles and Amazon- and Kindle-branded products in the spring of 2012. We will continue to offer our guests a full assortment of ereaders and supporting accessories including the Nook.
Reports have it that the final shipments of the Kindle to various Target stores all throughout the country will happen on May 12. This means that it is extremely likely that no Kindles may still be offered in Target stores by the end of May.
So what about that rumored “conflict of interest”? One of the reasons floating around is that since Target has signed an agreement with Apple to build mini Apple stores in 25 different Target locations nationwide it has created that “conflict of interest” environment. But another reason being assumed is that Amazon’s growing focus on digital products may have exerted a lot of pressure on Target – pressure that Target feels they don’t want to be exposed to.
A bigger question though is how Target’s withdrawal will affect the sales of the Kindle nationwide.