Why is Target making nice with Amazon?
Back on Black Friday during the 2011 Christmas holiday season, Amazon.com’s Kindle was the best-selling tablet in Target’s stores. Less than six months later, Target’s management decided it would no longer sell Amazon brands. Now, however, Target is changing course. Yesterday, a number of Amazon devices, including the Kindle, Fire sticks and tablets, were back on target.com and Target plans to have the devices in all its stores across the U.S. by October.
When Target made the decision to ditch Amazon brands four years ago, it made sense. Why should the retailer sell the products of a company that it not only competes with in electronics but every other category, as well? The news that Target is bringing Amazon items back, industry watchers say, is a nod to reality. Amazon isn’t going anywhere and Target shares many customers with the e-tailer. Why not make some money keeping them at Target instead of just ceding the business to its rival?
Target issued a statement on its decision to bring back Amazon’s devices. “We know our guests love the many aspects of shopping at Target, and believe they will appreciate the convenience and savings of finding these items in our stores and on Target.com.”
Walmart followed Target by pulling Amazon devices from its stores and site in 2012. Others, such as Best Buy and Staples, have continued to sell Amazon brands.
Target and Amazon have had a complicated relationship over the years. Jeff Bezos and company provided the technology backbone and fulfillment for target.com when it relaunched in 2001. Target built and took over management of its own site during the holiday season of 2011 and immediately began running into bugs.
- Target resumes selling Amazon products after four-year hiatus – Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Target Resumes Selling Amazon’s Gadgets Four Years After Rift – Bloomberg
- Target to fire Amazon’s Kindle Line – RetailWire
- Walmart also fires Kindle – RetailWire
- Amazon and Target to part ways in 2011 – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your reaction to Target reauthorizing Amazon’s devices for sale in its stores and on its website? Is this a bigger win for Amazon or Target? Do you expect other retailers not currently selling Amazon devices to follow Target’s lead?