You’d think a company founded on selling cheap plastic crap and a company founded on pushing as much stuff on you as humanly possible would get along just great. But apparently not.
Wal-Mart, realizing that “Holy crap! People are buying their cheap plastic crap from Amazon now!”, has decided to make a completely symbolic and utterly petty gesture. Namely, they’re not selling Kindles anymore, because Kindle owners might somehow cut into the lucrative “selling books” part of Wal-Mart’s business. Harlequin romances and trashy techno-thrillers need to stay on paper, dammit, so they can be sold with Pampers! And Amazon yawned!
Wal-Mart isn’t the first retailer to dump the Kindle. In May, Target opted to remove the Kindle from it stores as well.
Amazon, meanwhile, likely isn’t going to see much of an impact from Wal-Mart’s dropping of its products. A vast majority of Kindle sales are made through its Web site.
So pretty much Amazon was only netting the sales of people who weren’t quite sharp enough to realize they could get a better deal online, or couldn’t afford enough Internet time that month to make an order.
Also, jokes about hicks and illiteracy aside, the reality is Wal-Mart just doesn’t push books. Everybody goes to Wal-Mart, but they go there for necessities, not entertainment. All that stuff is really there to maybe get thrown in the cart and push up the margins of the store a bit more. So nobody is going to be hurt by this.
Nonetheless, expect that annoying “political” guy you knew in college to update his Facebook about how Wal-Mart hates reading. Because, really, in the battle of soulless consumerism propagating conglomerates, it’s important to back the pro-literacy one.