Office Max Gets the Kindle

Starting August 7, Office Max will start carrying the Kindle. It is the latest major retail chain to offer the e-reader. It joins Best Buy, Target, Radio Shack, Staples, and most recently, Toys R Us, in selling the Kindle.

It is not clear whether the office supply retailer will be selling both the Kindle 3 and Kindle DX. The Kindle 3 with special offers is the bestselling version, so that is a shoo in.

Only July 30, Office Max started carrying the Nook, which just lowered its price to $139 for its touch screen e-reader. This puts the devices in direct competition and gives Amazon the nudge to get a touch screen version of its bestselling e-reader out there.

The Nook has given the Kindle a pretty big run for its money in recent months, beating it for the first time in sales ratings. I can’t wait to see what Amazon has in store for the new Kindle lineup. I’m sure they will amp up their efforts to take the lead back.

So now we have the Kindle hitting a variety of consumers: business, education, parents and children, and of course online shoppers.

Office Max will offer the Kindle just in time to hit the back to school crowd, which is perfect considering this retailer sells school supplies.

Toys R Us to Sell the Kindle Starting July 31

Toys R Us joins Target, Staples, Best Buy, Radio Shack and AT&T in selling Kindles in their stores.  So, from these stores, the e-reader reaches out to consumers in electronics, business, wireless, and now parents and children.

Why sell Kindles in a toy store?  It sounded kind of farfetched to me at first.  The e-reader has started to reach out to children as an educational tool.  K-12 schools are starting to experiment with using e-readers for textbooks and for other educational needs.  I’ve seen articles floating around that show that school libraries are testing e-readers and tablets for use.

Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are targeting the back to school crowd this year.  Office Max will be selling the Nook around the same time.

It also catches the eye of parents who shop at the toy store.  Just puts the Kindle out there in yet another way.  It will be well positioned for the holiday crowd on Black Friday.

The major shopping times are going to be overflowing with new gadgets this year.  The thought is kind of overwhelming.  But, the competition will be fierce, which means awesome prices.

Toys ‘R Us will offer the Kindle 3G and Wi-Fi, as well as the Kindle Wi-Fi with Special Offers.  In addition to the device itself, there will be a good number of accessories available.

I remember, just a couple of years ago, the Kindle was only limited to online sales.  It is now reaching out to brick and mortar consumers of all ages and interests.  Those who were skittish about buying online have a lot of venues to choose from.

The popular e-reader can be used as an important tool for education in several ways.  The lure of a cool new gadget gets kids excited about reading.  Kindle games and applications have been developed to help kids with learning math and spelling.  There are also interactive Kindle books available that are packed with adventure.

Lastly, the lightweight e-reader is portable and fits easily into a backpack.  I think the Kindle can be used as an important tool in encouraging all children to enjoy reading.  It offers so many types of reading material, from books to magazines, and even graphic novels.  There is something for everyone.

 

Where to Buy Kindle this Holiday Season

This holiday season, you have a ton of options on where you can purchase a Kindle or Kindle DX.  For those of you who prefer shopping in stores instead of online, you are in luck because major retail stores such as Target (NYSE: TGT), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) carry the e-reader.  So, let’s take a look at the details and perks on what each store offers.

Amazon – The Kindle 3G and Wi-Fi are available for $189 and $139 respectively.  Amazon makes it easy by providing links on the main page.  Open up an Amazon Prime account and you can get unlimited free two day shipping on all of your orders.

If you are a student and join Amazon Student, Amazon Prime is free!  Ahhh the perks of being a student are endless.

Best Buy – Kindles are not available to purchase on Bestbuy.com, however, you can find a variety of Kindle accessories such as covers and screen protectors.  They have a free shipping deal going on now for the holidays as well.

Target – Same deal here.  Kindles are only available in the store, but you can find a wide variety of covers and screen protectors.  The prices are about the same as they are on Amazon.

Staples – You have variety of Kindle accessories to choose from, and they offer free shipping for orders over $50.

Ebay – I was surprised to find that the Kindle 3 Wi-Fi is actually more expensive on Ebay (NASDAQ: EBAY) than Amazon.  The prices I saw were $159.99, $169.99 and $172.  I did find a Kindle DX for $295, but it was a previous generation.  You can find great deals on accessories though.  Covers were less than $10.

So, you have a good set of choices here.  For the first time, you have a choice of trying a Kindle before you buy one, and prices are quite reasonable.  I’ve seen a lot of great deals so far this holiday season.  Keep an eye on Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN).  Last year I got free two day shipping on my Kindle a week before Christmas.

Best Buy to Sell Kindles This Fall

Amazon Kindle 3

Amazon Kindle 3

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is slated to join Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) and Target (NYSE:TGT) by adding the Kindle to its inventory this fall.  Just in time for the holiday season, the Kindle’s presence in Best Buy is predicted to boost its own sales, as well as the sales of its competitors.

Speaking of competitors, both the iPad and Nook are available at Best Buy.  There are rumors that the iPad might be hitting Target stores on October 3rd.  Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been trying to distance the Kindle from the iPad by saying that the Kindle is for the more dedicated reader, while the iPad is for more general purposes.  By doing so, this seems to put the Kindle buyer in one group and the iPad buyer in another.  I wonder if there’s a way to make buying both appealing.  After trying an iPad, I would use it more as a computer.  The screen contrast is too great to read comfortably.  Plus, the battery life on the Kindle is way longer than the iPad’s.  With the prices becoming more and more reasonable, I think it is perfectly justifiable to own both a Kindle and an iPad.

The Kindle and Kindle DX’s debut in all three stores allows consumers to “try before they buy.”  Adding Best Buy to the mix will just put the Kindle out there to an even broader set of consumers.  Best Buy is a natural fit for the Kindle because it’s reputation with quality electronics and good customer service.

The Kindle DX has been tested with little success in universities, but there is hope for the future.  It might actually serve as a good replacement for textbooks now that it is a little more mainstream and more readily available in stores.  I think using the Kindle DX as a textbook reader would save a lot of money in the long run.  It would also save a lot of space.  No more bulky, back breaking bookbags to lug around!

Kindle will Soon be Available at Staples

The Kindle 3 and Kindle DX will soon be offered at Staples (NASDAQ: STPS), an office supply chain.  Staples joins Target as the second retail store to sell the e-reader.  This is a good marketing strategy for Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) because they don’t have their own store to let customers try before they buy.  Both Target and Staples offer in store options to try out the Kindle before purchase.  Apple (NASDAQ: APPL) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) previously had the edge with the iPad and Nook on this strategy because they have their own stores.

“Staples is not just bringing this incredible product to our 1,550+ US stores, but we are offering customers a chance to discover first-hand Amazon’s revolutionary reading device,” said Jevin Eagle, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at Staples. “As part of our efforts to offer customers a wide range of top technology products and services at amazing values, the new Kindle is a natural fit.”

The new Kindle has had rave reviews.  The screen is 50% better, has twice as much battery life as its predecessor, is about 20% smaller and has faster page turns.  The quicker page turns is one thing that I’m glad to see improved.

Staples is a great store.  They sell really good quality products for good prices.  I bought a desk there a few years ago and love it.  This is a good place for the Kindle to be sold, considering the store’s technology focus and their commitment to good customer service.

Staples will offer:

Kindle Wi-Fi – $139

Kindle 3G – $189

Kindle DX -$379 (Will be available late Fall, 2010)

I haven’t been able to find much information on how well the Kindle has been doing at Target.  By putting the e-reader in stores, Amazon is reaching out to the casual readers and cautious consumers not willing to risk purchasing anything online.  Target is a major chain in the United States, but Staples has a global presence.  For now, Amazon is targeting U.S. readers, but the international avenue is open to pursue if they decide to do so in the future.  In terms of sales strategy, Staples is at an advantage because it will be putting the Kindle in its store just in time for the 2010 holiday season.  For Amazon, having the Kindle in two major retail stores instead of one will be a big sales boost.

The Kindle Makes a Great Mother’s Day Gift

Amazon is offering free 2 day shipping for the Kindle just in time for Mother’s Day, which is May 9th.  According to Amazon’s advertising campaign, the Kindle is their #1 best selling, gifted and most wished for item on the site.  With the device’s debut in Target April 25, there’s yet another way to get the Kindle before the big day.

Toy Xplosion does a good run down on the perks of the Kindle in their blog article on giving it as a Mother’s Day gift.  The perks to the Kindle mentioned include Amazon’s large book selection, no monthly fees and long battery life.  Another good reason to buy the Kindle now is that summer is coming up. Beach and pool season is about to start so you can’t beat a library of beach reads at your fingertips.  Just be careful and don’t drop it in the sand or the water!

The strategy involving shipping is a good move on Amazon’s part.  I saw that offered at Christmas and took advantage of the option.  It not only saves the long wait from the Free Super Saver Shipping option, but allows customers to save on paying sales tax which would be applied in stores.



Kindle Available at Target Stores April 25

It looks like Amazon is taking a page from Sony and Barnes & Noble’s book by offering the Kindle in a retail outlet.  The Kindle will debut in Target Stores April 25.  The good part about this strategy is that customers will finally be able to test a Kindle before they buy them in a secure environment.  According to this article from Wall Street Journal, Amazon previously recruited volunteers to go to public spaces such as coffee shops and showcase their Kindles.  However impact of these activities was limited. More than two years of what everyone believes to be stellar sales have passed and as I use my Kindle in public places some people still ask me “what is this” having no clue about Amazon Kindle specifically or eReaders and eInk in general. Clearly Kindle needs more public exposure.

Until B&N Nook came about much later, Kindle was the only device that could work without PC at all. So technically one could by it like a cell phone, have store associate set up amazon.com account with payment information and then read books without ever having to use a computer for that purpose. This way Amazon would be able to pick up some customers who never shopped online before. It’s a win-win situation all around. Why did it take Amazon 2.5 years to finally get there is a total mystery to me.

However, don’t rush to your nearest Target tomorrow. Chances are you will not find Kindle there. The plan is to pilot this in a limited number of stores with broader roll-out to follow sometime later.

Brick & Mortar eReader Sales?

One of the biggest impediments to eBook Reader distribution has always seemed to be exposure. Those of us who enjoy such things were forced, with each product that arrived on the market, to weigh the pros and cons of each device based on rumors, specs, and buyer feedback without, in most cases, ever having the chance to see a device in person. New reports indicate that this is going to be a phenomenon of the past, however!

Now, I’m not saying that this was a problem for everybody. Originally those who were close enough to a Sony run store had this luxury, of course, and in fact still do. Hell, the Sony Readers have long since come to Target stores around the country as well. Today, however, the eBook market is heating up based on distribution models and 3g devices like the nook and Kindle have center stage as they make the move to the big name storefronts.

Later this month, the 25th if reports can be believed, we should be seeing the Amazon Kindle popping up at Target stores all over the place. In what may be a coincidence, but is probably a reaction, Best Buys will in turn be picking up sales of Barnes & Noble’s nook. This should be a fun time.