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Bloomberg reports that after a roughly four-year hiatus, Target has decided to once again sell Amazon-branded technology products, with Amazon’s Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and Fire TV devices now available on Target's e-commerce site, and slated to be available for the holidays in the retailer's 1,800 stores.

The story notes that since 2012, when Target decided to stop selling Amazon-branded products, a lot has changed for the company: "Target has a new chief executive officer, Brian Cornell, who has refocused the company on its kids, beauty, fashion and baby sections while also introducing new exclusive brands. The retailer’s sales have stabilized and it has revamped its online strategy, expanding its selection and getting more competitive on price. Based on customers’ feedback, the company expects Amazon’s devices to drive traffic to its stores and thinks they could give its lackluster electronics business a boost."

As for Amazon, "which has been experimenting with its own brick-and-mortar stores, the deal with Target gives it 1,800 new showrooms for its products. Amazon has been at a disadvantage to Apple Inc., which has a fleet of sleek stores where customers can touch, feel and try out the latest devices. Amazon, which failed in its attempt to roll out a line of smartphones, sees its tablets as a key way to drive sales of its e-books."
KC's View:
I'm sorry, but I think this is a dumb move by Target, which - to mix my metaphors - is putting a target on its own back by allowing a Trojan Horse into its stores.

I'm sure that the folks there think that this will drive traffic to its electronics departments. They're probably right. And then, if they buy an Echo or Kindle or some other Amazon product, it becomes more likely that these same shoppers will use the devices to buy products from Amazon - including stuff that Target sells.

Let's be clear. Pretty much every device that Amazon makes is designed to generate some other sale. That's the whole strategy and mindset. And for Target to do this is to put short-term traffic and sales way above the issue of long-term sustainability.

Now ... at the same time as the Amazon deal was made public, it also was reported by Mashable that Target has reached a deal with Harry's - the online shaving/subscription service - to install Harry's sections in its stores.

The story says that "the brand will take 4-feet of retail space with its own section, packaging and test razors on display. The signage includes a 4-foot tall razor along with products ranging from Harry's razors, face wash, after shave and shaving cream, among others."

I have less of a problem with this because Harry's probably doesn't have "eviscerate Target" on its list of goals. Though I'd think that Procter & Gamble/Gillette would have a problem, since here we have Target aiding and abetting an online company that exists to disrupt their business.