Target, which began selling Amazon’s Kindle e-reader back in 2010 and has been pushing the line of devices and its accessories ever since, announced it is removing all things Kindle from its stores starting May 13.
According to an internal Target memo cited by The Verge
, the company said certain accessories will remain in stock but it will cease shipment of Kindle devices by mid-month. And a source told The Verge the cause was a conflict of interest. While some believe the change is due to Target’s recent deal with Apple to build mini Apple stores within its locations, others cite Target’s displeasure
with Amazon’s price-checking mobile app, which lets consumers visit stores like Target, scan a bar code and then check to see if an item can be bought more cheaply at Amazon—a process called “showrooming.”
Yankee Group Research Director Sheryl Kingstone comments
“I tend to see the removal of Kindle devices as a direct response to showrooming. Target has been very vocal about its dissatisfaction with Amazon’s price checker. Target must stop acting like a toddler and address showrooming head on
. While there is a lot of hysteria and concern among retailers regarding consumers rampant use of price comparison applications on their smartphones, less than a third of consumers who say they compare prices using their smartphones download dedicated price comparison applications. The majority are just browsing the Internet to research a product or service or using online price comparison sites. In reality, what consumers want is trusted information. It’s not necessarily always about the lowest online price, but a competitive price online or at a store. Of those consumers who use their phone for price comparison, 50 percent purchased the item at a nearby store with a lower price—not necessarily an online competitor.”