Target sold over a million Kindles last holiday season. So why are they tossing the product off their shelves? It’s a matter of principle, apparently.

Target’s 1,700 plus stores will continue to carry a line of e-readers, including Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iPad, and Aluratek’s Libre. However the Kindle, the biggest seller in the market place, is out the door due to what is called Showcasing. That’s where shoppers do all their touching and feeling of the merchandise at the corner store, then go online and purchase it at a lower web price.

Target will offer customers other choices in e-readers
Target will offer customers other choices in e-readers

Showcasing is becoming a thorn in the side of many storefront businesses, particularly when it comes to electronics. Target considers Amazon, who encourages buyers to scan items in a store to get a discount when purchasing the item on line, a rival. Although most of the Kindles are sold through Amazon’s web site, Target has been one of the biggest offline outlet for sales of the e-reader. How hard their withdrawal from the sales chain will hit Amazon is uncertain.

Target retail storeThe brick and mortar retailer will continue to carry other products that are also available at Amazon, but they hope this move will serve as a warning that they won’t sit still for anyone encouraging showcasing by their customers. Target has warned its vendors. "What we aren’t willing to do is let online-only retailers use our brick-and-mortar stores as a showroom for their products and undercut our prices."

You can still take a Kindle for a test drive so to speak at Best Buy, Staples or Walmart. We don’t know, however, if these showrooms will be closed to Amazon’s product in the future. If you want to touch and feel, be ethical and fair enough to also buy from the store who provided that opportunity to you.