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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Target Corp will begin selling Inc’s Kindle e-reader this month, the first time Amazon is allowing distribution of its popular product outside its website.

Amazon’s dominant ereader is fending off new competition from Apple Inc’s iPad tablet and the Nook from Barnes & Noble Inc. Both of those devices are already sold at Best Buy Co Inc in addition to their own store chains.

The availability of the Kindle at Target — one of the country’s largest retail chains — underscores how Amazon wants to increase distribution and safeguard its dominance in the burgeoning market for electronic reading devices.

The $259 Kindle will carry the same price whether purchased on Amazon’s website or Target stores. The device will debut at Target’s flagship store in downtown Minneapolis and 102 South Florida stores beginning April 25, and will roll out to more later this year.

Industry-watchers had speculated for months that the iPad would grab market share from the Kindle, but analysts have said Kindle should remain the device of choice for avid readers due to its e-Ink technology — considered by some to be easier on the eyes — and larger selection of books.

Shares of both Amazon and Target were flat after the market closed.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage in San Francisco and Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr and Matthew Lewis)