Target waves goodbye to the Amazon Kindle (but Nook can stay)

Target and Kindle are parting ways. What's behind the split? 

Amazon is getting the boot from Target stores. Here, an Amazon Kindle e-reader.

In 2010, Target began selling Amazon's Kindle line of e-readers. Although Amazon is pretty tight-lipped about sales figures, all indications are that the Amazon products – and especially the Kindle Fire – performed well for Target. Which makes it all the more strange that Target will banish all Amazon products from its brick-and-mortar outlets and online store. 

"Target continually evaluates its product assortment to deliver the best quality and prices for our guests," reps for Target confirmed in a statement this week, after the Verge first broke the news. "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 e-readers and supporting accessories including the Nook." 

So what's behind the move? Well, as Laura Hazard Owen of GigaOm points out, it may be a simple matter of competition: In many ways, Target and Amazon, which both sell everything from deodorant to electronics, are tussling over the same turf. "After all, this reasoning could go," Hazard Owen writes, "why should Target serve as a store showroom for Amazon products?" 

Matt Arnold, an analyst for Edward Jones & Co., agrees. Arnold told Bloomberg that "the very tight alignment of Kindle Fire tablets with Amazon’s own online store, which is a Target competitor, likely justifies this decision." 

Here's another scenario: Apple is putting some pressure on Target. In January, Apple Insider reported that Apple would open a string of "stores-within-stores" in "locations which can't support a standalone Apple Store." In West Virginia, for instance, there are plenty of Target outlets, but not a lot of Apple stores. With a store-within-a-store, Apple could increase its already formidable reach. 

And Apple, with its iPad, would certainly not want to compete for space with the Kindle. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to