Last year, Kohl’s and Amazon announced that they were widening the partnership that has Kohl’s selling Amazon goods on its shelves — including the Echo, powered by Amazon’s Alexa, and the Fire tablet line — allowing Kohl’s to accept Amazon returns at some of its U.S. stores.
After an Amazon customer returns an item to Kohl’s, it will package and ship the items back to an Amazon fulfillment center — free of charge for customers. To make the program even easier, Kohl’s will reserve parking spots near store entrances for Amazon customers only there for a return.
The service started at 82 Kohl’s stores across the Los Angeles and Chicago areas. The recent addition of 21 stores in Milwaukee means that just over 100 Kohl’s locations now participate in the service.
“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,” said Richard Schepp, Kohl’s chief administrative officer.
According to Retail Dive, the partnership is paying off. Gordon Haskett Research Advisors studied 13 Kohl’s locations in the Chicago area and found that those stores with the Amazon returns program have seen an 8.5 percent increase in traffic, with 56 percent being either new customers or customers who hadn’t visited a Kohl’s recently. Stores without the returns program only saw 43 percent of traffic representing new customers.
The Kohl’s return service is similar to a program recently announced at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market, where shoppers can also return their Amazon purchases.