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For now, the excitement surrounding the Kindle Fire is expected to be a boon for Amazon and bricks-and-mortar stores alike. The tablet, which ships Nov. 15, has been the top-selling electronics device on Amazon since it debuted. And stores are gearing up for brisk sales of the tablet.

“We were hoping they would come out with a device that would take the market by storm; it’s getting great reviews and the price is fantastic,” said Mark Mettler, a senior vice president at office supply retailer Staples Inc., who added that he does not consider Amazon a competitive threat. “We wouldn’t carry Amazon’s products if we didn’t support efforts.”

But John Tomlinson, an ITG analyst, said the outlook for retailers may be grim.

“It exacerbates the sharp decline in sales of physical books and movies,” he said. “Long term, it continues to highlight the challenges brick-and-mortar retailers will face.”


Mae Anderson can be reached at