Target throws Amazon Kindle out of its stores [Update]

Are you the type of shopper who walks into a brick and mortar store, looks at the products you're interested in, then leaves to order the product online? That's what Target saw happening when they began to sell Amazon's line of Kindle e-readers. Most people had never seen E-Ink technology in person and were skeptical, so would visit a local Target store and then buy the product from Amazon's website.

Target was annoyed at the fact that they were acting as a "showroom" for Amazon's products, but felt the company really crossed the line when they offered a "Price Check" application over the Christmas holiday. This app gave customers a 5% discount if they scanned a barcode in the store and purchased the product at Amazon.com instead.

Now, according to the New York Times, Target is firing back by refusing to carry the Amazon Kindle in any of their stores. They appear to be taking a hardline stance to all of their vendors going forward, stating:

What we aren’t willing to do is let online-only retailers use our brick-and-mortar stores as a showroom for their products and undercut our prices.

Since most people now know what a Kindle looks like, this move will probably have little to no effect on Amazon's business. That said, Target is flexing their muscles and showing their displeasure with Amazon by continuing to sell the Barnes and Noble Nook as well as potentially expanding the number of Apple products in their stores.

UPDATE: It appears that the spat between Target and Amazon may be growing. Amazon used to sell many of Target's products through their own website, but as of right now, a search on Amazon's site turns up no Target-based products. Thanks for the tip, Planar1280!

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13 Comments

1. I have never seen any kindles in any Target personally
2. I have never heard of anyone buy a Kindle from a B&M store
3. This won't affect those kinds of B&M to online customers anyway, they will still come in, see the product and buy it online.

Planar1280 said,
1. I have never seen any kindles in any Target personally
2. I have never heard of anyone buy a Kindle from a B&M store
3. This won't affect those kinds of B&M to online customers anyway, they will still come in, see the product and buy it online.

I've seen people buy them in the hundreds in B&M at once..... black friday 2011 at walmart, they where lined up to buy them, they had 500 in stock, they sold out in an hour apparently

Planar1280 said,
2. I have never heard of anyone buy a Kindle from a B&M store

Do you hover around stores watching what people buy or something? I got mine at Best Buy, only because I had a gift card though.

The price-check discount thing is a pretty obnoxious move on Amazon's part. But other than that, Target shouldn't be surprised at the behavior of these customers. It's common sense to want to see something in person, maybe even test it out, before buying it. I do it all the time. The only reason I end up buying online is price, and I assume that holds true for the customers Target was "losing".

spacer said,
The price-check discount thing is a pretty obnoxious move on Amazon's part. But other than that, Target shouldn't be surprised at the behavior of these customers. It's common sense to want to see something in person, maybe even test it out, before buying it. I do it all the time. The only reason I end up buying online is price, and I assume that holds true for the customers Target was "losing".

Yeah, Amazon's price check app was really in poor taste and a nice screw you to Target... I would be upset too. With that said, Amazon shouldn't be pricing their products any way other than the same price as the suggested retail price of these products at stores like Target in order to build these business relationships... It's in very poor taste to undercut vendors in your supply chain.

"Are you the type of shopper who walks into a brick and mortar store, looks at the products you're interested in, then leaves to order the product online?"

Guilty as charged...

Shopping around is nothing new... I go into walmart and if I don't need it right then and there I"ll document the price and go shop for it online. What is stupid is that walmart online is cheaper than walmart in store which is yeah beyond stupid. My mom raised holy hell one day after she reviewed a item on their online store for X price yet it was $15 higher as Y price in the store.

Wow... I remember doing exactly this when I got a kindle for my Mom. I ended up buying everything on amazon cause it was cheaper, no tax, and free shipping. The case was also cheaper.

I use shopsavvy on my android phone to walk into stores, then scan barcodes on stuff I'm interested in buying to see if it's cheaper somewhere else

This is exactly why people need to smarten up and buy locally occasionally. It doesn't hurt you to buy items from your brick and mortar stores if the cost is comparably close, and it keeps your local stores in business so they *can* continue to give you the in-your-hands benefit. Is saving $5 on a big-ticket item like a kindle really worth situations like this, where the brick store completely stops carrying an entire brand?

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