Reuters is reporting that the world's largest retail chain, Walmart, will no longer sell Amazon's Kindle products. This will be the second North American retailer to pull out of the Kindle business, following Target which decided earlier this year that selling Amazon's gadgets was a conflict of interest. Walmart is seemingly indicating the same thing.
"We have recently made the business decision to not carry Amazon tablets and eReaders beyond our existing inventory and purchase commitments," Walmart said in a memo sent to store managers dated Wednesday. "This includes all Amazon Kindle models current and recently announced."
The reason is simple: Amazon is a major competitor, more so than Google and Apple which supply their own tablets. In the offline space, Walmart is the market leader in overall sales. But in the online space, Amazon rules the market, and will dominate even more sales once its same-day delivery plans fall into place.
Now imagine a handheld gateway to everything Amazon has to offer, from Android apps to movie purchases to music to physical goods that can be bought with one click directly from Kindle tablets. That's a huge threat to both Walmart and Target who currently struggle to compete with Amazon in the online space. Thus, their reluctance to offer Amazon's tablets is understandable.
Reuters said on Thursday that a Walmart spokesperson confirmed the Kindle ban, and that the retail chain will continue to sell "a broad assortment" of tablets, eReaders and accessories – like the iPad, Nexus 7 and Nook Tablet – just not Amazon's products.
The process of blacklisting the Kindle devices already began on Thursday, as "kindle" searches on Walmart's website only pulled up protective covers, screen guards, and similar tablets and eReaders offered by Amazon's competitors.
Amazon declined to comment, Reuters said.