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Walmart Abandons Amazon's Kindle Lineup 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the clash-of-the-titans dept.
New submitter kiriath writes "Walmart has followed Target in ceasing to sell the Amazon Kindle product line. This is not terribly surprising, since Amazon and Walmart are major competitors. From the article: 'The world's largest retailer, which has been trying to catch up to Amazon in online sales, said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy. ... Now, with two large chains no longer selling Kindle, speculation has grown that the dominant online retailer could open its stores where shoppers could try out and buy Kindles. Amazon "is a little bit of a Trojan horse" when the Kindle is sold in other stores, said Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research. "They should have made this decision to not carry the Kindle a long time ago."'"
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Walmart Abandons Amazon's Kindle Lineup

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  • No Surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oakgrove (845019) on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:12PM (#41415575)
    Huge multi-national discount chain doesn't want to sell a product the sole purpose of which is to get people to spend money somewhere else. News at 11.
    • Re:No Surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Friday September 21, 2012 @06:09PM (#41416101)

      Believe it or not Walmart is actually pretty good to deal with in that regard. If they can sell it at a profit they don't seem to care. Have a game that uses steam, or an item that connects you primarily to an online store that would cut walmart of the process? No problem, as long as the product in question can make money.

      I bet walmart would sell amazon gift cards if they exist (I don't know if there are physical amazon gift cards like there are for itunes, if they exist they might just not be where I am in canada).

      Walmart are assholes about commoditized goods, if your toaster isn't the cheapest toaster on the market, or you don't expect to sell a million of them they won't talk to you, or they'll demand you lower the price. And if you order 40 000 toasters to put in their stores they can change their mind if and leave you stuck with them. But if they think they'll make money on maps to the nearest costco they'd probably sell them to you.

      • by gander666 (723553) *
        Yes, there are Amazon gift cards. Physical cards. And I do believe I saw them at Walmart too.
        • Correct. I have one.

          Any idea what to spend a $25 Amazon gift card on that's not a video game, now that I have the "pleasure" of paying sales tax on it?

          I mean really. What should I get? Ebooks? A life time supply of aglets?

          • While some states may have different requirements, typically gift cards are not taxable sales.

            This is because you potentially end up paying sales tax twice - once when you purchase the card, and then again when the card is used.

            It's entirely possible that this is changing as legislators become aware of the tax loophole created when you sell gift cards for *other* companies (which may have locations in tax-free states, or be online-only) - but to my knowledge it's not happening in most states yet.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      Huge multi-national discount chain doesn't want to sell a product the sole purpose of which is to get people to spend money somewhere else. News at 11.

      That could have been money for Walmart, if they made a deal with Amazon, where Walmart would take a cut of the digital sales from units sold at their stores.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Hell still hot: Coca Cola refuses to let Pepsi sell soda in their office vending machines.

      Hell still hot: Olympic games sponsored by Visa don't allow Mastercard to be used for paying concessions stands.

      General principle: When you're playing on someone else's turf, you abide by their will, and if they kick you out anyway, tough shit for you.

  • But seem to have failed to realize that you don't need a Kindle to download the Kindle app to any Android or iDevice and connect with your Amazon.com account. Hell, I have the Kindle App on my Motorola Droid phone and get my books for it on there without shelling out the higher $$ for the physical Kindle device. Since Walmart and Target also sell Android tablets and smartphones I guess it won't be long before they stop that too?
    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      That's like saying they shouldn't sell computers because you can shop online with them. Android/Apple phones and tablets can also access the Walmart app and visit walmart.com. So can Kindle tablets, by the way. The difference is that the Kindle devices are much more proactive about you trying to buy from someone that isn't Walmart.

      With that said, I'm sure there's another (possibly bigger) reason for the decision. Retail stores have to maximize earnings per square foot. The Kindle either didn't sell wel

      • studies showed that people would come into retail stores and play with the kindle, then return home and buy it online. now that's wasted retail space.

        • by Cinder6 (894572)

          That sounds strange at first glance. I'm guessing the reason is taxes. I wonder if that metric would change at all, now that Amazon is collecting tax in more states. I know that Amazon has lost some of its edge for me in California, especially if the items are the same price in-store and online.

        • I bought a kindle fire (original) at a physical store solely because online reviews said that amazon associates your kindle to your account before shipping it to you. so if it got stolen in the mail or by the door (because of the stupid kindle sticker on the box), the thieves can buy crap on you amazon account.

          I regret buying it though, since the kindle app on an ipad is more user friendly (for example, it takes fewer steps to change brightness within the kindle app on the ipad than on the kindle fire).

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        It's a combination of things. One, if you get a Kindle you are led to Amazon. Two, they already sell other e-Book readers, so someone coming in to make an e-Reader impulse buy has other options and won't necessarily leave with a device that encourages users to bypass Wal-Mart. Three, as siblings state, people would not only buy it from Amazon, but they would go look at it at Wal-Mart first and then not buy it. And I don't know about you, but as I have standards I can go look for ten things Wal-Mart ought to

  • Who's affected? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by camperdave (969942) on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:24PM (#41415691) Journal
    Who would even buy a Kindle from WalMart or Target in the first place? That's a purchase for an electronic appliance store like a Future shop or perhaps one of the many bookstores that carry them. Walmart is for your cheap, disposable type items like beach towels, laundry baskets, desk organizers, flashlight batteries and the like; things that you don't care where you got them because you're going to replace them when they break.
    • things that you don't care where you got them because you're going to replace them when they break.

      Sounds like a Kindle to me ;-)

    • Re:Who's affected? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@worfMOSCOW.net minus city> on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:41PM (#41415877)

      Who would even buy a Kindle from WalMart or Target in the first place?

      People who shop at Target and Walmart? People who broke theirs and need a replacement immediately? People who wants theirs immediately? (It's the same price, after all)

      Thing is, there are a LARGE number of people who don't shop online. They'll purchase stuff from curated stores (Amazon, Apple, etc), but they won't go open a browser and type www.amazon.com, click through and check out. They will however find a book, see "buy it", tap it and boom, book is on their device.

      Thing is, a lot of other countries don't often have strong online shopping cultures (mostly due to lack of a decent Amazon, and competitors that charge shipping and taxes), so being able to buy it in a retail store for the same price is often quite appealing.

      • by sootman (158191)

        >> Who would even buy a Kindle from WalMart or Target in the first place?

        > People who shop at Target and Walmart? People who broke theirs and
        > need a replacement immediately? People who wants theirs immediately?
        > (It's the same price, after all)

        People who hate the thought of having to deal with shipping something back to a retailer if there's a problem? (Me.) People who bought it on sale? ($79 and got a $30 gift card -- also me.) People who save 5% by using their Target card? Etc etc etc.

        • All of these reasons defy logic, but I can see your reasoning. Just as much trouble to take it back to the store, Amazon is a much better experience. Don't know what you're saying about the gift card. I can save more than 5% at Amazon--include gas and my time and there is no comparison.

    • I bought one from Target when I accidentally broke mine the day before a flight. Next day shipping would have been too slow, and I wanted it to entertain me on the fight. Granted, I could have had amazon ship it to my hotel, and I would have been fine, but for the same price, I wanted it immediately.
    • I bought one in a Target for the instant gratification, and I was about to leave on a trip.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      People going to Target or Wal-Mart? I know, crazy huh.

      Lets see:
      People back to school shopping, people buying clothes, people buying groceries, people looking at things there going to buy online.

    • by bobstreo (1320787)

      Because I want it now, not in some random number of days, with it stuffed under a rug on my porch.

      Sometimes I'm more willing to pay a bit more for immediacy.

      • Sometimes I'm more willing to pay a bit more for immediacy.

        ever heard of 2-day or next day shipping?

        that might be more than a "bit", but you also have to factor in your time driving, gas, waiting for some clerk to find the key to open the locked cabinet where they keep them, standing in line to check out, and so on.

        • Yes, Amazon is extremely efficient. Walking into a store is a crap-shoot that usually results in horrible customer service, wasted time, and a negation of other random benefits. The world is moving very fast, wasting an hour fucking around in Wal-Mart is not a smart economic decision--unless your time is only worth $9 a hour. I still have to shop for groceries--this takes enough time as it is. In an hour I can become acquainted with a new technology or gain more insight into my industry.

      • These channels are diverging. People need things immediately, but in the future the price for this convenience is going to increase by several factors.

    • In rural areas Walmart is all there is. (2) Spur of moment last minute gift. Amazon ships fast, but not that fast.
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Who would even buy a Kindle from WalMart or Target in the first place? That's a purchase for an electronic appliance store like a Future shop or perhaps one of the many bookstores that carry them.

      Why would you want to buy one from FutureShop or a bookstore? It's not like the quality of the device is different if you get it from Target or from Fry's. A Kindle is a Kindle. The sales staff at all the retailers will be equally clueless, and as a geek you don't care about that anyway because you already know more about the product than they do. You're not there to shop and decide. You're there to buy.

      The only difference is the price and return/exchange policy. Wal-Mart being Wal-Mart, the price will be l

    • did you know that you get the same kindle regardless of where you buy it? people are going to purchase where it's most convenient. stores like target and walmart have much higher traffic and than some specialized gadget store.

    • Those of us who live in small towns in the Midwest where Walmart K-mart or Target are your only real options for modern day electronics, unless you feel up to a 75 minute drive to a "big city" that has an electronic appliance store. If I'm going to waste that much gas and time, I'll just have it shipped Next Day Air - or go to Wal-Mart and get it right now.
    • Re:Who's affected? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:02PM (#41417055) Homepage Journal

      Who would even buy a Kindle from WalMart or Target in the first place? That's a purchase for an electronic appliance store like a Future shop or perhaps one of the many bookstores that carry them. Walmart is for your cheap, disposable type items

      You got this totally ass-backwards. Walmart is well-represented everywhere and has a generous return policy. Further, if you're a California resident you have additional rights, and many of us are (take a quick look at population distribution...) so there are many reasons to buy something in a store as opposed to ordering it. The same logic applies to buying from Costco. I could possibly have got an LCD TV cheaper elsewhere even with shipping, but they gave a 2 year warranty where the same model (with a different model number, but the same damn thing) at other places had only 1 year. AND, often if you bring something in to costco even after the warranty period they'll replace it just to keep you happy.

      No, online is the place to buy cheap, disposable items, because you can always order up another one. Wal-mart is for buying things you think you might want to take back to the store.

      • AND, often if you bring something in to costco even after the warranty period they'll replace it just to keep you happy.

        The essence of retail service. This used to be the norm.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      Who would even buy a Kindle from WalMart ?

      they would : http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ [peopleofwalmart.com]

  • by Cutting_Crew (708624) on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:26PM (#41415707)
    "Wal-Mart continues to sell iPads, Barnes & Noble Inc's Nook, Google Inc's Nexus 7, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and other tablets and eReaders"

    So people cant use iPads to go shop at like say "amazon.com"(wow who would have thought?) and other websites to find the best deal on ebooks to everything else under the sun?

    Of course this only makes sense if you take the "amazon is our competitor" line.
    • "Wal-Mart continues to sell iPads, Barnes & Noble Inc's Nook, Google Inc's Nexus 7, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and other tablets and eReaders" So people cant use iPads to go shop at like say "amazon.com"(wow who would have thought?) and other websites to find the best deal on ebooks to everything else under the sun? Of course this only makes sense if you take the "amazon is our competitor" line.

      Kindles were specifically designed and priced to streamline the user into purchasing products (eBooks) from Amazon. iPads and the like might have their tie-in to iTunes but it's not as cannibalistic.

      • but people that want to buy ebooks from Amazon will buy from amazon. making it easier with a kindle doesn't mean people won't buy eBooks because it takes actually going to amazon.com and buying the book.
    • Or if you take the "Amazon was encouraging people to get physical prices in stores, and get a 15% discount online" as competition.

  • Amazon should give the retailer who sold the kindle a little taste on each purchase that is made on the device.

  • Cause the last time I checked I can use those to get to amazon.com just as well.
  • by azav (469988)

    What does Wal-Mart have to do with Target?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What does Wal-Mart have to do with Target?

      They were were selling Kindles and being used by Amazon as a showroom. Now they stopped selling kindles...

  • since Amazon and Walmart are major competitors

    Uh...Walmart/Target don't make tablets to my knowledge, why not make sell (and thus make money off of) a product of a competitor in a totally different field?

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:42PM (#41415891) Homepage

    Amazon is taking over more and more of retail. They've already taken over books and DVDs. They took over and re-started Webvan. [webvan.com] They're building local distribution centers for same day delivery. They bought Kiva Robotics so those warehouses won't need many people.

    The glory years of store-based retail are over. No new enclosed mall has been built in the US in a decade. Most retail areas have vacant stores that will never be used again. In a few years, retail will consist of recreational shopping and convenience stores. Everything else will be on line.

    Then all we have to worry about is downtime. Read E. M. Forster's "The Machine Stops".

  • They should have used their influence to work out a good online books store, and paired it with sales. Make money from value add.

    Free eBook copy with every book purchase. Maybe a kiosk. People who go to wal-mart do so regulae, have a eBook of the week deal.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      They should have used their influence to work out a good online books store, and paired it with sales. Make money from value add.

      Free eBook copy with every book purchase. Maybe a kiosk. People who go to wal-mart do so regulae, have a eBook of the week deal.

      Which one is short-sighted? Amazon and Walmart are increasingly becoming competitors, Walmart probably saw little upside in helping their competitor sell products.

  • brick and mortar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cobble (1116971) on Friday September 21, 2012 @06:08PM (#41416095)
    Amazon should just buy the ailing Best Buy franchise and then they have instant brick and mortar storefronts all across America. Apparently, many people already go to Best Buy to touch the merchandise before they go online to buy it at Amazon anyway ;)
  • I own a retail store and one of my competitors has a wholesale/manufacturing business. We both hate each other as I use to work for them BUT I still sell their products as "I" make money off them.

    • I own a retail store and one of my competitors has a wholesale/manufacturing business. We both hate each other as I use to work for them BUT I still sell their products as "I" make money off them.

      The problem isn't that Walmart wouldn't make money on the Kindle.

      The problem is that if you buy the Kindle, are you going to go back to Walmart to buy your movies/books/music?

      Imagine you were selling a direct channel to your competitor. That probably wouldn't sit with you well.

  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Friday September 21, 2012 @11:21PM (#41418517)

    (I absolutely hate the short title requirements)

    I expect that now that Amazon is charging sales tax in California for them to start stocking massive warehouses just outside major cites and to start running their own fleet of delivery trucks.

    They could have showrooms throughout the cities and less than 24 hour delivery service. Want to try a product? Then just arrange for it to be shipped to a nearby showroom. Free returns anyone? What about a try before you buy Netflix type product a week? Try a new laptop every week.

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