Out of Spite, Target Will Stop Selling Amazon Kindle Products

Since 2009, Target has been carrying Amazon Kindle products in its stores. Now, the chain, with almost 1,800 stores, is closing the book on their alliance.

Over the holidays, Amazon encouraged people to go to stores like Target to test out Kindle products, before ultimately buying them through the Amazon web site. According to The New York Times, Amazon even offered a promotion on any product that was scanned at the store. This showroom encouragement aggravated Target, leading them to pull the products from their display, as Stephanie Clifford and Julie Bosman explain.

“What we aren’t willing to do is let online-only retailers use our brick-and-mortar stores as a showroom for their products and undercut our prices,” Target executives wrote in a letter to vendors, asking them to think of new pricing and inventory strategies, according to a note that Deborah Weinswig, a Citi analyst, sent to clients.

Target will continue to sell Barnes and Noble Nook products and Apple’s iPad. And though it’s an obvious slap in the face to Amazon, analysts say it might not have a profound effect on the company, since it already sells the most successful e-readers available. What wouldhurt them would be if other stores, like Staples and Walmart, followed suit.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Out of Spite, Target Will Stop Selling Amazon Kindle Products

  1. Target’s pouting because consumers are looking for the best deal?! *sigh* Instead of pulling the most popular e-reader and accompanying goods from their shelves in defiance, they should be looking for ways to enhance their brick-and-mortar shopping experience for their customers. (Sell me on why I should brave the parking lots and cash register lines to shop at Target!)

    • If parking lots and lines at the cash register make you nervous, nothing will really convince you not to simply make you purchase a Kindle at Amazon. Selling the Kindle is not Target’s. It’s the goal of Amazon. If they want to “target” store customers, Amazon has to make it worthwhile for Target….not Target make it worthwhile for you.

      • Parking lots and cash register lines don’t make me nervous! LOL What I need to be convinced of it that it’s worth my time and energy to go to a big box store. Once I’m in one of those places, for whatever reason, I tend to leave with a basket-load of stuff, because I don’t want to have to go back anytime soon! 😛 With FT work, PT graduate school, and family on my plate, free time is precious.

    • Someguy

      Lesley, I don’t think you fully grasped what Amazon did:

      “Over the holidays, Amazon encouraged people to go to stores like Target to test out Kindle products, before ultimately buying them through the Amazon web site.”

      That’s like saying “go to this place that’s selling my product, devoting floorspace to my product, and paying me to stock it at retail pricing. Then, once you’ve done that, come back to me and I’ll undercut them, leaving them with stock they’ve purchased that nobody wants.” It’s a dick move on Amazon’s part, no question.

      • Oh, I get it, but I disagree.

        There will always be customers who will buy the product in hand, because it’s there in hand, and the customer doesn’t want to pay/wait for shipping (or they have reservations about shopping online). And there are customers who want to go for the best deal, and don’t mind shopping online and waiting for the item to ship. I know people in both camps.

        I just don’t usually feel the obligation to buy at brick-and-mortar stores, unless it’s convenient and/or the price is right. I tend to grocery shop at the chain store right across the street from my apartment complex, unless a sale or specialty item draws me somewhere else.

        The price comparison thing that Amazon did a few months ago is something that people with a smartphone AND that app took advantage of. Not everyone has a smartphone, though, and do you know anyone who has that app? I don’t. I read the NYTimes article when it came out, and thought it was interesting, but I didn’t have a smartphone at the time. Now I do, but I still don’t have the app. I am an Amazon Prime member, though, and like the good deals I find.

        I may not support all the mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar retail stores in my area, but I work and go to grad school in a city that has shown up on several Top-10/20-Foodie-City lists in the past year or so, so I often patronize the non-chain restaurants in my area. It’s one way that I choose to support the local economy.

  2. Joe

    I like Nook better, anyway.

  3. Good for them! I will say one of the reasons I did not get a Kindle was because I couldn’t hold it to feel if it was something I wanted to carry. That’s Amazon’s (and any online store’s problem), not Target’s.

  4. Pingback: Barnes & Noble Launches Nook HD | Lara's Book Club

  5. Pingback: Wal-Mart Stops Selling Amazon Kindle | Lara's Book Club

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