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]