Kindle retail rollout heading to all Target stores

After a trial run in select locations, Target will now be introducing Amazon’s Kindle throughout its entire chain of more than 1,700 stores in 49 states.

That will happen on Sunday, June 6, marking a huge new retail initiative for Amazon. Target will sell the Kindle for $259, matching Amazon’s online price.

In April, Target stocked the device at around 100 stores in southern Florida, as well as one store near the retailer’s Minneapolis headquarters. The full-scale deployment implies that sales in those stores were solid.

It’s a move that goes against the initial Kindle plan, which was for Amazon to control all of its distribution internally. But new competition from Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Apple’s iPad has forced Amazon to make new decisions. There is a Kindle app available on the competing iPad, as well as the iPhone, Android Market, and PC.

Though new e-reading devices pack in more features, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has stressed the elegance of simplicity.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Bezos as saying, “The Kindle will compete with these LCD devices like the iPad by being a very focused product. Serious readers are going to want a purpose-built device, because it’s an important activity for them.”