For many small and independent authors, publishers, musicians and filmmakers, Amazon Advantage has been a terrific program to get your product out to a national audience and offer it for sale. For the last few years Advantage members have had the bonus of having their products available through Target.com as well. It seems that that has now ended.
Popular big box discount retail chain Target announced via press release on August 7, 2009 that they would be building their own online retail platform and stop using Amazon’s services by 2011. What is not made clear in that release is that Amazon is also no longer to be handling listing, warehousing and fulfillment through Target.com of thousands of Amazon items.
Products from Amazon.com that were available on Target.com are now no longer showing up in search results there. They are still findable with the query “site:target.com “product name“” on Google. The product pages on Target.com now list the items as out of stock (example: Target | Amazon).
I was unable to determine if it was only Advantage items that had been dropped, or if Amazon still provides warehousing and fulfillment services for other items. It seems that the Amazon ASINs are still being used on in-stock items. Releases from major record labels, Green Day’s Nimrod, for example, are still available on Target. Some 26 releases on Green Day member Billie Joe Armstrong’s Adeline Records that were available on Target are no longer findable, however.
UPDATE: After some further digging it seems that entire vast sections have been eliminated from Target.com. Where there were once hundreds of graphic novels available by Fantagraphics, there are now only seven. And they are not the only ones, Image Comics and Drawn & Quarterly titles are nowhere to be found (cached page on Google, no longer available on Target.com).
That was the news, here’s my statement:
Wow Cool has been an Advantage seller for a couple of years and I’ve been mostly happy with the situation. The Target.com presence of Wow Cool product was nice, and it will be missed. Current Wow Cool Advantage offerings won’t be hit too hard by this, but this is a huge blow to future releases. I do know one other Advantage seller who did a large volume of business through the Target connection and I know they will miss it. Bottom line, this is bad news for independent media in America.