Wal-Mart Gives Amazon’s Kindle the Boot

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Brick and mortar retailing giant Wal-Mart has given online retailing giant Amazon' and its Kindle tablet platform the boot. Wal-Mart announced on Thursday that it would stop selling Amazon's Kindle, Kindle Fire, and Kindle Fire HD, and focus on other tablets and e-readers, including Apple's iPad.

Wal-Mart Gives Kindle the Boot

"We have recently made the business decision to not carry Amazon tablets and e-readers beyond our existing inventory and purchase commitments," Wal-Mart said in a memo sent to store managers on Wednesday, according to Reuters. "This includes all Amazon Kindle models current and recently announced."

Wal-Mart didn't specify why, but it is being seen as a competitive issue. Amazon has designed the Kindle Fire and new Kindle Fire HD as a conduit for customers to shop for other products, which is a direct threat to Wal-Mart's own retail empire. The company apparently decided that helping Amazon deliver its retailing weapon into the hands of more people was a bad idea.

Another issue is margins. Amazon is selling all of its Kindle products at razor-thin margins, leaving little in the way of extra money for retailing partners like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, or Target...Did we say Target? That chain stopped carrying the Kindle earlier in 2012.

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When race-to-the-bottom, evil retailing empires clash! It would be amusing were it not for the underlying economic and philosophic issues.

Wal-Mart built its empire by selling products at razor-thin margins, forcing manufacturers to move their operations to Asia in order to lower prices still more, and then over-saturating markets—especially small towns—in order to drive local mom-and-pops out of business. In the process, the company has driven down wages and seriously threatened the middle class in America.

Amazon built its online empire by selling products at razor-thin margins, and in some cases dumping products below cost. The company has engaged in such scummy practices as encouraging customers to use brick and mortar stores to pick the products they want and then buy them from Amazon.

Both companies represent a rush-to-the-bottom mentality where cheap products rule, service is non-existent, and innovation dies in low-margin hell.

Of course, that's stating things in extremely over-simplified terms, and it's never really that easy. Amazon, for instance, is extraordinarily efficient and the company has made shopping at Amazon.com a very, very compelling experience in many ways.

We'll also happily note that The Mac Observer is a proud participant in Amazon's affiliate program, too, a program that has helped us grow over the years.

Wal-Mart, too, offers many goods at a very low price, and for some shoppers that trumps any and all philosophical concerns or broader economic realities.

So, they clash, and Amazon has one less way for customers to see and hold a Kindle e-reader or tablet in their hands, while Wal-Mart has one less popular draw for its stores.

In the end, nothing much is really going to change. Apple is still going to dominate tablets, Amazon will remain the biggest online retailer, and Wal-Mart will keep being Wal-Mart.

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Loved the “Spin” section; couldn’t have said it better myself.

Neil Anderson

I predict Amazon’s stock will go up on this news.


I wish that Walmart had a web site that was comparable to Amazon’s.  We shop at Walmart when we go to the larger cities but their web site does not work.  We buy lots of things from Amazon.  I would prefer to buy from Walmart.


Over 90 percent of the US gross domestic earnings went to 1 percent of the US population in 2011. Of that over 90 percent, 33 percent went to the Walmart family. Sad if you ask me. We will all be serfs soon.


I also like the spin. I also hate shopping at Walmart. Come to think of it; I don’t much like shopping anywhere. But I do object to the Walmart way on most points.

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