In a surprise move, Target (News - Alert) announced it will no longer carry Amazon’s Kindle products. The news comes as Target moves to add special displays of Apple products, including the iPad, in a variety of stores.
“Target is phasing out Amazon- and Kindle-branded products in the spring of 2012,” Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder wrote in an email to Reuters (News - Alert). “We will continue to offer our guests a full assortment of e-readers and supporting accessories.”
Snyder added that the company “continually evaluates its product assortment to deliver the best quality and prices for our guests.” She declined to comment on whether the phasing out of Kindle had anything to do with a cozier partnership with Apple.
Amazon’s Kindle is an integral component of Amazon’s online store, which is a major competitor with both Target’s brick and mortar stores and its Web site. Some have speculated the move to nix the Kindle from its stores may be a result of competition from the online retail giant.
The Wall Street Journal speculates that Target may also be trying to combat a process called “showrooming,” which happens when customers visit a brick and mortar store to preview a product they intend to purchase online for less money.
Kindles have already disappeared from Target’s Web site, and Target stores in New York stated that they were not expecting any new shipments.
The Kindle Fire has quickly consumed about half of the market share for Android tablets. Its closest competitor, the Samsung (News - Alert) Galaxy Tab, trails far behind it at a meager 15.4 percent market share.
Analysts have speculated that if Target is indeed snuggling up to Apple, the retailer may have nixed Kindle to lessen its competition with the iPad.
Amazon’s sales are unlikely to suffer from this setback. Sales of the Kindle Fire in a variety of markets drove Amazon to a 34 percent increase in revenue during its first quarter. The company’s stock price jumped 12 percent when the news was announced.
Kindle products are currently available in over 175 countries around the world, according to Amazon. Consumers will have ample opportunity to find them outside of Target stores.
Edited by Braden Becker