Widespread media reports have Walmart discontinuing the sale of Amazon’s popular Kindle devices, which begs the questions what took so long and will we ever see a Walmart tablet.
Walmart’s decision to begin selling the Kindle was one of the more wrong-headed moves the company has ever made. A Kindle is Amazon’s version of a Gillette razor, essentially a device that provides consumers a portal to purchase Amazon’s other inventory, or in Gillette’s case, more blades. Target wisely gave Kindle the boot earlier this year.
Both companies had little to gain from selling the devices, especially as they and other retailers battle Amazon’s showrooming effect while pushing for federal legislation requiring the online retailer to collect sales tax.
Walmart’s sales won’t suffer by discontinuing the device and the best part for Walmart is it will no longer be inflicting pain on itself by enabling a competitor’s strategy. Instead, the potential exists for the company to develop its own device as part of a long term global ecommerce strategy. Why shouldn’t or wouldn’t the world’s largest retailer have its own device for customers to interact with the Walmart brand? It may sound crazy, but anything is possible considering how quickly the braniacs at @Walmart Labs built an all new search engine to power Walmart.com.