Amazon chief Jeff Bezos will have to open up one of his Christmas presents early this year. Consumers have chipped in and bought him a new black turtleneck. Amazon's Kindle, which wants to compete but not quite compete--it's different!--with Apple's iPad and iPad mini, beat some precocious 2011 sales figures over the weekend, more than doubling last year's digital dip. This according to the company, which did not reveal just how many Kindles it sold.
Interestingly, Walmart and Target, the twin terrors of brick and mortar, both decided not to carry the Kindle this season, focusing instead on Apple. This made them, as tablets go, virtually the same kinds of closed technology systems the late Apple founder Steve Jobs was famous for. (Both companies do, however, offer a handsome selection of the black turtlenecks Jobs was also famous for.) What does it mean when a company can double its sales without the two biggest retailers in the country? Does it reveal something about the bricks and mortar model--is big box influence as product arbiter waning? Or is it finally really the end of books? Ikea, another large retailer you may have heard of, has answers to both questions, kind of. It continues to manufacture 130,000 Billy bookshelves every week (though of course you could put a vase and some pictures on them, instead of books.) And if you're in range, you can order almost any Ikea product online for home delivery. Yet far more shoppers still go to the store.
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