Big-box retail chains have been bailing out of selling Amazon Kindle products, owing to the razor-thin margins and the fact that Amazon is trying to crush those same retailers everywhere else. Both Target and Walmart have stopped selling the tablets, leading to speculation that Amazon could even open Kindle-based brick-and-mortar stores of its own.
Struggling retailers like GameStop could serve the same purpose, so it should come as no surprise that the two companies have joined forces to put new Kindle Fire tablets on sale at the gaming chain's physical locations. This will provide potential valuable foot traffic to GameStop, which has been hurting due to the emergence of online game purchases, while letting consumers see and handle the Kindle tablets in person before buying.
Amazon has resisted budging on sale pricing for its slates -- save for a Black Friday deal on its own site -- so GameStop will borrow a tactic from other stores and entice buyers with a free $25 Amazon gift card if they buy a Kindle Fire from it. You can also trade in a previous Kindle Fire and receive up to $100 in store credit to help you upgrade to a new version.
While GameStop is best known as a prime loitering spot for kids sampling new games before buying them, it's made a half-pivot into selling refurbished Apple iPads and iPhones and other gadgets in order to combat lost revenue related to changes in video game buying habits, whether through big-box stores selling titles for less or more gamers purchasing online. Whether the Amazon deal will boost GameStop's bottom line is debatable, but there seems little to lose for either side in the arrangement.