Target today announced that it will be phasing out sales of Kindle products this spring due to a "conflict of interest."
The Verge reported yesterday that Target was going to "stop carrying the line of products" due to "conflict of interest," according to a source. According to an internal memo The Verge received, Target will be "removing Amazon hardware from its locations starting this month." Certain Kindle accessories, according to The Verge, would continue to be sold, though sales of the core Kindle products would cease.
Today, Target confirmed that they will indeed be phasing out sales of Kindle devices, as well as other Amazon and Kindle branded products, in their retail stores:
Target continually evaluates its product assortment to deliver the best quality and prices for our guests. Target is phasing out Kindles and Amazon- and Kindle-branded products in the spring of 2012. We will continue to offer our guests a full assortment of ereaders and supporting accessories including the Nook.
A cursory search through Target's online store reveals that the Kindle devices have already been removed, and Target's Kindle branded page comes up empty, suggesting that Target has already instituted these changes on their online properties.
The source of the "conflict of interest" that The Verge reported on yesterday remains unclear, as Target made no mention of it today, but it is important to note that Apple and Target entered into a partnership in which Apple would open "mini-stores" inside some Target locations. It is also important to note that Target's statement affirms the retail chains commitment to other e-readers, specifically calling out the Nook by name.