Target moves to restock Amazon-branded products (TGT, AMZN)

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Four years after pulling them from the shelves and its e-commerce site, Target is once again carrying Amazon-branded products, reports Bloomberg.

The mass merchant is currently selling Amazon Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Fire TV devices on Target.com, and expects to stock the items in-store by October. Target’s decision to restock Amazon products could mean that the company is scaling back on its efforts to compete with the e-commerce giant. Instead, it may be looking to leverage Amazon’s massive customer base to draw shoppers into its stores.

By shifting its focus away from competition, Target is likely trying to align itself with Amazon’s popularity and reputation for innovative tech. This move provides customers with the chance to see much-touted Amazon items in person before buying them — a perk not available when they’re shopping on Amazon’s marketplace.

Target will then have the opportunity to drive up incremental sales by cross-selling items, like e-reader cases or television stands. Instead of competing directly with Amazon for sales, Target will now be able to use the company’s products to help move its own inventory.

One potential drawback of this arrangement is Target’s ongoing issues with in-store inventory — customers are being met with empty shelves and out-of-stock items more often than not. This is directly tied to Target’s use of brick-and-mortar stores to fulfill e-commerce orders. The company addressed this issue in March, announcing its intention to reduce the amount of variety within its inventory to ensure that the most in-demand items are always available. 

As the mass merchant enters into this agreement for the second time, the company will have to make sure to satisfy Amazon’s loyal customer base with updated inventory information and knowledgeable sales associates. Otherwise, Target risks sending these shoppers away to make purchases on Amazon.com itself.

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Target moves to restock Amazon-branded products (TGT, AMZN)
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