Target will yank Kindles–why?

According to a memo obtained by The Verge, Target will stop carrying Kindles in its stores or on its website after Mother’s Day.

The source tells the Verge that the change is due to a “conflict of interest.” The memo says “Target has reviewed our product assortment and has made the decision to no longer carry Amazon hardware (i.e., Kindle). Certain accessories for Amazon product will stay in the assortment.”

The memo instructs employees, “If you receive questions from guests, share that Target continually evaluates its product assortment [to ensure] the best quality and prices for our guests.” Employees are also instructed on how to handle media inquiries.

The Verge wonders if the change could be related to Target’s partnership with Apple on a mini-store test program. Target carries other brands of e-readers, including Nook and Kobo, that don’t appear affected. I’ve asked Amazon for comment.

Target began carrying Kindles in 2010 and used Amazon to power its e-commerce until 2011.

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