Don't go to any Target stores for Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, because it has officially been discontinued, and Target Corp has no intentions of bringing it back. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said "is phasing out Amazon and Kindle branded products in the spring of 2012."
After selling the Kindle for two years, the department store giant will still offer "a full assortment of e-readers and supporting accessories including the Nook," explained Snyder, but she didn't provide a detailed reason for the abrupt sales stop. The tablet has already been taken from Target's website, and soon store shelves will not be housing any new devices either.
The fact that Target is soon expanding their Apple products in their stores may provide some insight into the exit of the Kindle. Whether selling Amazon products is an official switch to avoid conflicts of interest with Apple remains to be seen, but it does appear to be the logical reason for the demise of the Kindle in Target Corp's stores.
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It's also possible that Target simply chose not to renew a contract with Amazon, because they'll have a larger profit share with the Apple folks. Or, the Target Corp. wants to add some of Apple's cool and cutting edge image to their sometimes straightforward middle America brand persona. It's hard to exactly pinpoint the actual reason, as both Amazon and Target failed to respond to the media's request for further explanation.
The irony in all of this that the Kindle Fire was Target's best selling tablet on Black Friday in 2011, which leads one to believe the discontinuation isn't attached to poor sales. Also, there are no Amazon stores to showcase the Kindle, which makes Target a logical partner. Reportedly Amazon will be testing a pop-up store in Seattle, which also may be an answer to why their relationship with Target is coming to an end.
Apple is also raising its presence with Target by putting up mini-sub-stores in many of Target's locations, which will probably make most people forget that the Kindle ever lived at Target in the first place. Although Amazon's Kindle Fire is making a name for itself, Apple's iPad is still chief among tablets. Since its introduction in 2010 Apple has sold nearly 55 million iPads.
Snyder also added that "Target continually evaluates its product assortment to deliver the best quality prices for our guests." Which leads one to believe that Target has something up their sleeve as it pertains to the world of tablets, but for now, they're choosing to keep mum about it.