Amazon has been partnering with brick-and-mortar stores over the past few years. This gives traditional retailers a way to stay relevant in a market where Amazon is basically dominating. The most recent partnership will introduce Kohl’s Amazon returns.
Kohl’s Amazon Returns Make It Easy
Kohl’s announced on Monday it is now accepting Amazon returns at all of its stores in the United States. After running a pilot program for returns at 100 locations for about 18 months, both companies decided to move forward with making the service available at all 1,100+ locations.
Amazon is known for having a fair and easy return policy. Now, Kohl’s is making that process even easier. Employees at Kohl’s will receive your item, pack, label, and ship it back to Amazon for free. To top it off, you don’t even need the box!
“It’s an interesting marriage because what Kohl’s needs is store traffic, and what Amazon needs is to make customers happier with a place to return their items,” said Oliver Chen, a retail analyst. “The dream is that it’s a fair but attractive split where that shopper will come in and purchase other items.”
CEO Michelle Gass has called the partnership with Amazon a “long-term bet.” She believes the move will be beneficial for both companies. “What’s really key and what our data would suggest is that we’re also bringing in a new customer and we’re bringing in a younger customer,” she said. “That is significant.”
How This May Impact Kohl’s
The traditional retailer is one of many chains in the United States looking for a way to adapt to digital shopping habits. More importantly, retailers are looking for a way to target younger shoppers. Nordstrom, for instance, began Nordstrom Local. These storefronts don’t carry any merchandise. Instead, they provide a location for online order pickups and returns. For Nordstrom, it has been effective in attracting younger customers.
Other retailers, like Kohl’s and Whole Foods, have partnered with Amazon to help attract people to the stores. By providing a place for returns or pickup, these retailers are getting more people in the door and hope to see sales rise.
On the other hand, some retailers are targeting Amazon as a rival. Walmart has begun to expand its next-day delivery options to 75 percent of its U.S. stores. The expansion is expected to be completed later this year.
Kohl’s reported $20.2 billion in revenue last year with a net profit of $801 million. Most locations are located within strip malls or are free standing. On top of the latest deal with Amazon, Kohl’s has been working with companies like Planet Fitness and Aldi to increase the store traffic as well by leading neighboring spaces to these businesses.
“You sort of see this revolution happening on the basis of foot fall,” Chen said. “Kohl’s wants to be working from a position of strength where people will still need groceries and still work out and definitely still shop at Amazon. They’re using their assets to their advantage.”
Readers, what do you think about Kohl’s Amazon returns? Do you think it will help them increase sales?
Photo: Flickr: Mike Mozart
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