Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Target to dump Kindle line over 'conflict of interest'

Target is saying farewell to's Kindle line of devices. The mega-retailer has been selling Kindle devices since 2010, and the Kindle Fire was was even its best-selling tablet during 2011's Black Friday, but the retailer is going to dump the devices anyway, because of what it calls a "conflict of interest."

That conflict of interest is easy to see. Target competes directly against in terms of selling to customers interested in saving money over standard retail pricing. It's often been termed an "upscale Walmart."

Naturally,, with free two-day Amazon Prime shipping, free standard shipping over $25 for all, and aggressive pricing, is certainly taking business away from brick-and-mortar retailers, including Target.

In a sense, Target selling the Kindle and Kindle Fire is sort of shooting itself in the foot.

The report indicates that shipments of Kindles themselves will cease as of May 13th, although some accessories will remain in stock.

Target's politically correct and externalized explanation is as follows:

"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."

That's the external message, but a source said that the truth was the aforementioned "conflict of interest." Meanwhile, Target will continue to stock the Nook. Barnes & Noble, though, does not compete with Target as does.

It's also true, however, that Target has confirmed that Apple "store-within-stores" will be opening in 25 Target outlets in locations that won't support a standalone Apple store.

Whether or not this increasingly close relationship with Apple has anything to do with dumping the Kindle line is unknown.

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