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Walmart apparently kicking Amazon out its stores

The list of many different places you can go to buy Amazon Kindle devices has just gotten smaller. Reuters is reporting that Walmart is dropping all things Kindle. They apparently see no need for Amazon’s devices with the likes of, say, Barnes and Noble, Sony, and others with fine products on the market. It follows a similar move by Target, which also gave a similar spiel about how the Kindle line just doesn’t fit between their many options anymore.

Right away it all sounds like bitter drivel to me, and I know I’m not the only one that feels that way. The general belief is that these brick and mortar retailers are feeling threatened by Amazon’s presence in retail.

With its online-only model, Amazon has become the biggest e-commerce site there is, and to drive sales like they’ve been able to without a brick and mortar format probably irks these big-box retailers to no end.

So why not attack Amazon where it hurts? The Kindle business is a huge part of Amazon’s cash flow, and retailers feel like supporting the products in brick and mortar would be like supporting Amazon’s ability to cut into their retail traffic.  But these retailers still support retailer Barnes & Noble’s line of tablets and e-readers, do they not?

Well, they’re specialists. They sell books and multimedia, so they’re not a direct threat to Walmart or Target. Amazon, on the other hand, probably sells more different products and brands than Target and Walmart combined.

Also, because Amazon’s devices tend to be priced ridiculously cheap it’s believed Target and Walmart are as unhappy with the profit margins of selling these devices as they are with Amazon quickly rising up in sales.

Amazon’s retail sales grew 42% last year, while Walmart and Target grew a combined 6.7%. Sure, it’s hard to improve much when you’re already at the top but to do what Amazon has been able to do in an online-only capacity is nothing to sneeze at.

Can you see why there would be some animosity between Amazon and these retailers? I’m not saying this will become a trend and we’ll see a mass-exiling of Amazon products in physical retail outlets, but Amazon has been specifically targeted (no pun intended) by the two biggest big-box retailers in the world — they must be doing something right. [via Reuters, Stores.org]




  • ari_free

    Showrooming is a big problem in general. People check out the device in a store and then they buy it online for a lower price. The store just ends up as a charity.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      The only way to go for a big purchase, IMO. It’s unfortunate, but I’m not going into a big purchase thinking about what I can do to help a store. I’m thinking about what I can do to help my own wallet. Consumerism always rules and I’ll never feel guilty about it.

      • ari_free

        But what are they going to do? They’ll close down and nobody will be able to check out new devices (like a 3D TV or Google Glass when it comes out) in person.

        • fussguest

          They’ll be forced to adapt or shutdown. There will always be a place for brick and mortar – anytime someone wants to physically check out the product. We’ve headed that way as you and Quentyn point out, now retailers have to find a way to fit that demand. They could price-match, adopt a amazon/wal-mart hybrid of shipping most items thus less money spent in inventory overhead, my favorite would to get knowledge staff. I’d be willing to spend a bit more if the sales person could actually help instead of just tell me the credit card swipe went though. Ace did this to hardware, Circuit City did the opposite and look where they are.

    • No_Nickname90

      Uh…? No dohye. LoL!! How rude of me. But I understand what you’re saying. I do that ALL the time. If I can get it cheaper, why buy it in the store? What I do like is, if you find it cheaper online, you can take it to the store and buy it at that cheaper price; or price matching. If it wasn’t for price matching, I think these stores would have went out a long time ago.

      • MikeCiggy

        Most places don’t price match Amazon’s prices… which sucks.

        • No_Nickname90

          That’s because some sellers in Amazon aren’t actually companies. They’re random people who sell for a company. Almost like the middle man.

          Unless you’re saying that they don’t except Amazon at all. Then yea, that sucks.

          I know Fry’s and Best Buy accept Amazon, and that’s all I shop for my electronics. LoL!!

        • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

          I work at OfficeMax and we do match Amazon’s prices, but it can only be Amazon’s price + overnight shipping which turns out to be more than our price most of the time.

      • ari_free

        Everyone does it all the time but if these stores go out of business, nobody will be able to check things out before they can buy them.

        • No_Nickname90

          Not being able to check things out isn’t that much of a loss for me. I’ll just read user reviews online. Those are usually better anyways. It’s not like you can actually use a smartphone at a store, for example.

          • CalypsoArt

            Yep, Once you get yours is all that matters.

        • rsanchez1

          Stores could do the Sams Club and similar stores treatment, and require membership to go in.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001157635211 Danny Callahan

      As for computer parts, yes I order online. My hobby stuff (which is a LOT more expensive) being RC trucks and cars and whatnot, I still support the ‘brick and mortar’ hobby stores. They always get my money for parts, wheels and tires, bodies, oils, and tools.

      I can always get the same exact things online for an additional 20-40% (depending on how bad-off the shop is)less, but I’m taking a job away from someone, and closing down a store for each purchase I make online (nit reality, but it feels this way). If I need a part, I just eat the cost of helping a store stay afloat, and keeping people employed.
      This is also relative to the store. If the staff & owner are ass-hats and heckle everyone who walks in with a high ‘n mighty attitude, I put everything I was going to buy back on the shelf and just walk out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1378557035 Rasy Soeur

      lol that’s what i do!!! i go to a store try it out or see something i like take a pic of it to remind to get it on-line for a cheaper price. i hardly but anything at a physical store anymore.

  • rsanchez1

    That’s a shame. I bought the original Kindle Fire at a Wal-mart.

  • Cipher Zero

    For the past few decades (more so 15+ years ago), large stores such as Wal-Mart were often kept out of a lot of places due to the fact that a Wal-Mart would move in, massively undercut the mom and pop shops which resulted in them going out of business, and hire the former owners for minimum wage (or close to it). Of course Wal-Mart succeeded in doing what they did – they didn’t need large profit margins, they make up for it in volume.
    Now, online retailers (primarily Amazon.com) are taking a lot of business away from the big stores. They’re almost always cheaper, and if you’re like me and have an Amazon Prime account, you get free 2-day shipping, no sales tax, etc. Why would I buy something that costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars if I can save potentially hundreds on the price and avoiding paying state tax (6% where I live, and spare me the ‘you’re not contributing to your state’s well-being’)?
    I truly feel sorry for anyone who loses their jobs, but on a corporate level, all I can think is; “Sucks when it happens to you, doesn’t it?”

  • Honeebun

    Very nicely written and accurate.

  • BustaArmov

    Amazon is faced with the challenge of getting retailers to carry its razor, only so Amazon can be the one to supply the customer with razor blades.

    What did Amazon think would happen when the devices they sold became platforms for their retail business that competes with the retail outlets selling their devices?

    Also, online sales models are predatory. They expect customers to check stuff out at retail stores to buy them online. This is the equivalent of companies sending their labor overseas to sell more profitably in the US, which is a model that if every company did, would leave US consumers without the good paying jobs to buy those products eventually.

  • Rod

    Walmart, Walmart oh Walmart. I remember I used to love going to Walmart now I can’t stand going in there. I do alot of my shopping with Amazon, and alot of other people do as well so naturally Amazon would be one of there biggest competitors. I believe they dumped their product because they’re a competitor, do you agree?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamille-Browne/1184321457 Jamille Browne

    All Amazon.com has to do is have a Physical presence to put Walmart out of business.

    • AJA0

      I disagree. Physical locations are a big waste of money nowadays since everyone buys most everything online. Unless they sold something that you’d have to buy in stores like groceries, I see no need to go in any stores.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamille-Browne/1184321457 Jamille Browne

        I guess I’m not with the times because I will NOT buy anything over $100 online for security reasons. I don’t trust everything and as far as tech goes I like to have my tech as soon as possible, I HATE waiting.

        • AJA0

          If anything is over $100, you can usually find it MUCH cheaper online, and unless you’re NOT buying from a very established and trusted site like Amazon or eBay, you have virtually nothing to fear.

    • InyRules

      Not necessarily. Amazon was built from the ground up to be online only. Moving to a brick and mortar style is not supported in their framework. Remember when Blockbuster tried to compete with Netflix and started their own online service? It failed because in their foundation, they were setup as brick and mortar – they just slapped some online aspect on it and hoped that it would work.

  • AJA0

    I’ve been to about four Wal-marts in my state within the last few months, every one of them had 10-15 nooks and other devices, and they were always sold out of Kindle’s.

    They’re going to remove a device that has that much demand?

  • Dave s

    I never ever shop at amazon, can not Stand that company. I buy online through eBay or in a local store.

  • Greg Chason

    So basically Wal-Mart is pissed that they are having done to them, what they did to so many mom and pop stores. Do I smell the scent of irony in the air?

  • Val Firsov

    Here is the number 1 reason brink and mortar will not be replaced by online shopping in the foreseeable future. Instant gratification. So what if it takes ten minutes to drive to the walmart or best buy, its still quicker than overnight shipping.