Kohl’s Views Amazon Returns As Key Sales Driver

Kohl’s has announced that Amazon Returns is now available at more than 1,100 Kohl’s stores nationwide.

“The nationwide rollout of the Amazon Returns program is our single biggest initiative of the year,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer in a statement. “Our top strategic priority is driving traffic, and this transformational program does just that. It drives customers into our stores, and we are expecting millions to benefit from this service.”

The two retailers piloted the program in 100 stores in the Los Angeles, Chicago and Milwaukee markets before announcing in April plans to roll out the service to all stores this summer — just in time for back to school shopping season.

Through the offering, the department store retailer will take Amazon items that are “eligible” without a label or a box. Kohl’s then packages the purchases before sending them to a return center of the eCommerce retailer.

“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 at Cowen, according to The New York Times. “The dream is that it’s a fair but attractive split where that shopper will come in and purchase other items.”

Gass revealed on an earnings call in May that working with the eCommerce giant was a “long-term bet” that can benefit 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.”

The news comes as Kohl’s has announced that it will lease or sell retail space at 10 locations to Planet Fitness. The gyms would be between 20,000 square feet and 25,000 square feet. And it was reported that the fitness facility wouldn’t share doors with Kohl’s, but the companies will promote each other.