As an e-commerce giant Amazon has lacked one edge brick and mortar retailers have—in-store returns. That's about to change. Kohl’s is adding free returns for Amazon customers in 82 Kohl’s stores beginning in October.
Items can be returned free of charge regardless of return reason and regardless of whether the items are packaged for shipping. The stores across Los Angeles and Chicago will pack and ship all returned items to Amazon return centers.
“We are thrilled to launch this unprecedented and innovative concept, allowing customers to bring in their unpackaged Amazon returns to Kohl’s and we will pack them, ship them, and return them to Amazon for free,” said Richard Schepp, Chief Administrative Officer. “This is a great example of how Kohl’s and Amazon are leveraging each other's strengths – the power of Kohl’s store portfolio and omnichannel capabilities combined with the power of Amazon’s reach and loyal customer base.”
Customers visiting Kohl’s for Amazon Returns at Kohl’s services can use designated parking spots near the store entrance.
Kohl’s also recently announced a new Amazon smart home experience will be available in 10 select Kohl’s stores across the Chicago and Los Angeles areas starting in October. The 10 stores will have Amazon returns integrated into the overall Amazon experience, located prominently at the front of the store.
"We continue to observe more and more collaboration between digitally native companies and traditional retailers – a theme that we think will continue to build momentum in the coming quarters," commented Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom.
Grom noted the move from Kohl's will both leverage unutilized parts of its store footprint and help improve foot traffic. "Kohl’s has historically seen a roughly 25-30% uptick in baskets from BOPUS transactions, so it’s plausible that the company will see some benefit," said Grom.
Amazon has previously lacked a physical location for returns, one of the things brick and mortar retailers could boast over the e-commerce giant.
“Amazon Returns at Kohl’s creates a convenient location for Amazon customers to return eligible Amazon.com merchandise,” said Shivi Shankaran, Director of Worldwide Customer Returns at Amazon. “Teaming up with Kohl’s provides an incredible opportunity to pair our world-class return experience with a great shopping experience, expanding our service options to our customers in the Los Angeles and Chicago areas.”