(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc will no longer sell Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle products, making it the second major chain to stop selling Amazon’s devices, as the world’s largest retailer makes a bet that consumers are more interested in other gadgets.”We have recently made the business decision to not carry Amazon tablets and eReaders beyond our existing inventory and purchase commitments,” Wal-Mart said in a memo sent to store managers dated Wednesday. “This includes all Amazon Kindle models current and recently announced.”
Wal-Mart said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy. While Wal-Mart dwarfs other retailers in overall sales, it trails Amazon and others in online sales and has been trying to beef up its Internet business. Consumers who buy Kindle tablets such as the new Kindle Fire HD can shop on the devices for more than just digital books, pushing Amazon into heightened competition with stores.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman confirmed the decision and said the company would continue to sell “a broad assortment” of tablets, eReaders and accessories. Amazon declined to comment.
Wal-Mart continues to sell products such as Apple Inc’s iPad tablets and Barnes & Noble Inc’s Nook.
Searches for “Kindle” on the websites of Walmart and the company’s Sam’s Club warehouse chain on Thursday brought up items such as cases and screen protectors used with the Kindle, as well as e-readers and tablets from other companies.
Wal-Mart’s decision to pull the plug on Kindles comes months after Target Corp stopped selling the products.
Shares of Wal-Mart were up 0.3 per cent at $74.57 at midday on Thursday, while shares of Amazon.com slipped 0.6 per cent to $260.02.
(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago, additional reporting by Alistair Barr in San Francisco; editing by Matthew Lewis)
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