Kohl’s and Amazon.com announced this week that 82 Los Angeles and Chicago area Kohl’s stores will offer free return service for Amazon customers. The Kohl's stores will pack and ship "eligible" Amazon return items, for free, starting this October. Participating Kohl’s locations will have designated parking spots to make the return process even easier for customers. There’s no word yet on if or when this program will expand to other markets.
Total Retail’s Take: Rather than trying to compete with Amazon, Kohl's is expanding its partnership with the e-commerce giant. Earlier this month, Kohl's started selling Amazon devices, such as the Echo and Fire tablets, at 10 of its stores. This new program offering free Amazon returns figures to draw more people into Kohl’s stores. As Amazon customers visit Kohl’s stores to return their items, they may be tempted to check out the store and do some shopping. This is one way for the department store chain to fight declining foot traffic.
"The major question will center on how Kohl’s will take advantage of that increased traffic," said Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Commerce. "If Kohl’s doesn’t do anything to draw them into their ecosystem after the customer drops off their return, then the partnership won’t be mutually beneficial. The big consideration for Kohl’s will be how they make that customer more loyal to them through this partnership."