Kindle at Target? The E-Reader Wars Go Brick-And-Mortar

When a company controls a roughly 90% share of any market by selling its product strictly online, as Amazon (AMZN) has done with e-readers thanks to its Kindle device, it isn't necessarily important for it to have a presence in physical retail stores. But with Barnes & Noble (BKS) selling its own digital reader, the nook, in its brick-and-mortar stores, and Apple (AAPL) making a mint from eager customers lining up outside its retail outlets or visiting Best Buy (BBY) locations to pick up iPads, Amazon's share of the e-reader market may well erode -- which means it's now time to get some Kindles on shelves in a store near you.

According to Endgadget, Amazon is about to do just that by partnering with retail behemoth Target (TGT). The technology blog (owned by AOL, which also operates DailyFinance) published a screenshot of a hand-held inventory device which showed a listing for the Kindle, and was also told the devices would be for sale as of April 25. The irony is that this potential deal comes as another longstanding one comes to an end: As of 2011, Amazon will no longer be in charge of Target's e-commerce site. The discount retailer is taking control of its own online store.

Though an Amazon spokesperson did not respond to DailyFinance's request for comment, Seattle-based tech news site TechFlash was told by Amazon that the company "did not respond to rumors or speculation." But if the rumors are indeed true, the Kindle will arrive in stores just a week after the nook's goes on sale in Best Buy, where it will be competing head-to-head with the iPad for customers' e-reading attention. The push to sell e-readers via physical stores is only going to get more intense -- which may spur e-book sales to keep up their own rapid growth rate.