Will Amazon open physical stores to sell Kindles, Kindle Fire tablets?

Like Target before it, Wal-Mart has severed ties to Amazon's e-readers and slates. Rumors are circulating that Amazon might sell them directly from its own bricks-and-mortar stores instead.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

Late last week Wal-Mart announced that it will no longer sell the Amazon Kindle and Kinde Fire in its stores, joining Target in in rejecting the devices. While the argument could be made that the razor-thin margins on those products contributed to that decision, the real reason is clearer: Amazon's tablets are a gateway to easy ordering from Amazon.com, which means fewer sales for Target and Wal-Mart.

Proof of that is the fact that Wal-Mart is still selling the iPad, the Nook, and the Google Nexus 7, amongst other tablets. Other bricks-and-mortar retailers are still onboard with the Kindle family, including Best Buy, Office Depot, Radio Shack, and Staples. 

Still, losing Target and Wal-Mart means that Amazon has far fewer locations to let consumers see Kindles and Kindles Fires in person before purchasing. Considering the runaway success of Apple's retail stores and Microsoft's decision to open more than thirty pop-up stores to sell its new Surface tablets, would Amazon decide to emulate its competitors?

According to Reuters, there's speculation that Amazon will open physical stores to put the Kindle products in front of more consumers. Given how quick it is to get pop-up stores up and running -- they are "pop-up" stores, after all --  the company could still conceivably establish locations before the holiday shopping season, now that the largest retailer has wiped its flagship product off its store shelves. 

Amazon sells the vast majority of its Kindle devices on Amazon.com already, but potential buyers doing some research at the mall may miss out on an opportunity to see them up close while checking out competing tablets. Do you think it would be a good idea for Amazon to open physical stores to sell the Kindle and Kindle Fire? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

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