If you ask most people, they’ll tell you that the Amazon Kindle is pretty much the de facto e-book reader on the market today and that the Kindle Fire tablet has been pretty darn popular too. However, it looks like sales of the Kindle products at Walmart aren’t quite so hot and the mega-retailer has decided to stop stocking Amazon’s e-readers and tablets.
This comes straight from Walmart PR:
Recently, Walmart Stores, Inc. made a business decision to not carry current Amazon products beyond our purchase commitments and existing inventory.
Our customers trust us to provide a broad assortment of products at everyday low prices, and we approach every merchandising decision through this lens.
We will continue to offer our customers a broad assortment of tablets, eReaders and accessories at a variety of great price points. This decision is consistent with our overall merchandising strategy.
So, what are we supposed to glean from this? Well, we could think that it has to do with sales figures and the Kindle isn’t performing on Walmart’s shelves as well as they would have liked. It might also have to do with money in that Amazon might not be offering Walmart the kind of margins that it would like to have either. Then again, there could be a much more compelling reason.
Amazon directly competes with Walmart in just about everything. You want a physical book? Amazon and Walmart both sell that. You want a video game? They both sell that too. You want furniture, groceries, textiles, shoes, luggage, watches, light fixtures or bicycles? Both Amazon and Walmart sell all of that. In a sense, by stocking the Kindle family, Walmart becomes a bit of an Amazon showroom. This could be the same reason why Target decided to pull the Kindle from its shelves too.
Of course, I could be reading far too much into this, but I think it is amazing how Amazon has its hands in everything. You buy the tablet from them, so you can buy the digital content from them. Even if you buy an iPad or some other device instead, you can buy that product from Amazon too and there’s a good chance that you might get the Kindle app to buy more content. They get paid at every step of the way.