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Target to stop carrying Amazon Kindle hardware due to 'conflict of interest'?

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An anonymous tipster has informed us that Target will stop carrying Amazon's Kindle hardware starting this month due to a "conflict of interest."

Amazon Kindle Store down
Amazon Kindle Store down

Since Target stores began selling Amazon's Kindle line back in 2010, the devices have always appeared to do well; the Kindle Fire was even the retailer's best-selling tablet during Black Friday last year. It appears that's about to change, however, with a source telling us that the company is going to stop carrying the line of products due to a "conflict of interest." According to an internal Target memo we've received, the company will be removing Amazon hardware from its locations starting this month. Certain accessories will remain in stock, but shipments of Kindles themselves will cease as of May 13th.

While several brick-and-mortar stores we contacted still had the devices in stock, a quick search through Target's online store reveals that Amazon's e-readers have already vanished, and the Kindle-branded online store comes up entirely empty. As of this writing, it's unclear what the nature of the cited conflict of interest is, but it should be noted that Apple recently partnered with the retailer for a small number of "mini-stores" earlier this year. Whether the Kindle move is related — or has implications for Target's own e-reader ambitions — still remains to be seen.

Update: Target has responded to our request for comment and confirmed it will cease to carry Kindle hardware.