Kohl's announced Tuesday that it will accept Amazon.com returns in all of its store locations beginning in July, reports CNBC. Kohl's currently sells select Amazon products and accepts the e-commerce giant's returns in roughly 100 stores. The expansion of their partnership will push out Amazon returns capabilities to all Kohl's locations, amounting to more than 1,150 stores across the U.S. The department store will accept "eligible" Amazon items — without a box or label — and store associates will package the items and send them back to one of Amazon’s return centers at no additional cost to the customer. Kohl's and Amazon first launched their partnership in October 2017.
Total Retail's Take: This move by Kohl's and Amazon demonstrates how traditional brick-and-mortar stores can work together with e-commerce retailers in partnerships that benefit both parties, providing consumers with the omnichannel experiences they've come to expect. Kohl's has realized a boost in foot traffic to its stores from Amazon customers looking to make easy in-person returns, and hopes to convert those Amazon customers once in its stores. For the consumer, this is both convenient and streamlined. For example, if the Amazon-purchased T-shirt didn't fit, return it at a Kohl's location and browse the clothing aisles there for additional items. Amazon should see rewards from this expansion as well, as "this partnership is a risk-free way for Amazon to expand its physical footprint and serve consumers who want to return things in person without having to take on the liability of physical locations and customer service reps," comments Danielle Roberts, senior product manager at Kibo. However, Roberts cautions the expanded partnership won't come without challenges for the department store as "Kohl’s will have to go through considerate in-store associate and logistics training in order to ensure this partnership’s success.”
Kristina Stidham is the digital content manager at Total Retail and sister brand Women in Retail Leadership Circle. She is passionate about digital media and handles social media, video, and podcast production for both brands, as well as contributing articles and attending events. Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia.