Target will become the first officially licensed store in the country to sell Amazon's Kindle e-reader, as the device branches out to beyond Amazon's own distribution for the first time in three years.
When the Kindle launched in 2007, it revolutionized the world of books by fully pushing e-reading technology to the mass market in a way that its main competitor Sony wasn't able to do before.
However, its scope has been limited because the Kindle remained exclusive to Amazon.com, allowing the e-tailer to avoid extra costs and production associated with external distribution.
As it begins to reach the saturation point with its own online store, though, and with new devices like the iPad and Nook storming retail stores, Amazon is branching out.
The initial rollout will be to around 100 Target stores in southern Florida, as well as one store in downtown Minneapolis, where the retail company is headquartered.
"Target’s reputation for excellence and value makes it the perfect fit for Kindle. We’re excited to work with them to bring readers around the country a new way to discover and buy Kindle, and with it, wireless access to a massive selection of over 500,000 books," said Amazon's SVP who heads up the Kindle division Steve Kessel.
Kindle first went beyond the proprietary Amazon branding when the digital Kindle Store was released to Blackberry, iPad, and Mac operating systems. Today's announcement, however, signifies the first time that it will actually be worrying about inventory and shipments of the physical product to warehouses and stores that it does not directly control.
Amazon eventually plans to bring the device to Target stores across the country, at the same $259 price tag that it carries on Amazon.com.
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