For the first time in four years, Target is selling Amazon-branded devices on its website and will sell them on store shelves later this year, reports Bloomberg.
The agreement comes as something of a surprise, because Target has refused to sell Amazon’s devices since 2012 over what the former called a “conflict of interest.” Reading between the lines, Target was likely afraid of Amazon using its devices to convert shoppers into Amazon devotees. Furthermore, Target did not like that it was being used as a second storefront, giving Amazon more reach with American consumers.
Things have changed in recent years, however, with Target adopting new business strategies and appointing Brian Cornell as its new CEO, which resulted in a strong financial turnaround. Meanwhile, 19 million people signed up for Amazon Prime in 2015, with the company believed to now have over 54 million Amazon Prime customers. As such, there is less risk of customer conversion when using Amazon devices.
“Target continually evaluates our assortment to deliver quality products at a great value,” said the company in a related statement. “We know our guests love the many aspects of shopping at Target, and believe they will appreciate the convenience and savings of finding these items in our stores and on Target.com.”
Thanks to the reversal, you can now buy Amazon’s Kindles, Fire tablets, and Fire TV devices on Target’s website, with the devices slated to hit store shelves in October.
As Bloomberg notes, however, the change does carry implications for both companies. For Target, selling Amazon’s devices might inject some much-needed energy into its electronics business. As for Amazon, this gives the company another foothold in the physical retail market, since it currently has no store to call its own.
Unfortunately, Target’s decision to work with Amazon has had no effect on Walmart, which still refuses to sell the latter’s devices.