Amazon Returns Giving a Boost to One Physical Retailer

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Amazon is a powerhouse –an e-commerce legend, if you will and other retailers are noticing…big time. Kohl’s recently partnered with the mega-retailer and started accepting returns from Amazon. This partnership has tremendously affected the traffic in Kohl’s department stores that accept Amazon returns.

How Does it Work?

Customers can now bring in unopened Amazon packages and Kohl’s will return the package to Amazon for free. The stores will even have marked parking spots for Amazon return customers. The inviting nature Kohl’s offers Amazon customers sparks the attraction for these customers to continue shopping while in the Kohl’s store.

This kind of out-of-the-box thinking has allowed Kohl’s to attract new customers and keep them in their store longer, all from the boost of the partnership with Amazon. The two companies are leveraging each other’s strengths – Kohl’s with its store portfolio and Omni channel capabilities and Amazon’s loyal customer following. Not only does Kohl’s accept Amazon returns, but Whole Foods also offers this to customers (Whole Foods was purchased by Amazon, so this opportunity only makes sense).

On top of accepting Amazon returns, Kohl’s has also created 1,000 square foot areas within stores dedicated solely to showcasing and selling Amazon smart-home products such as Kindle and the Echo. These areas will be staffed by Amazon employees as well.

How Customers Benefit from the Partnership

This partnership between Amazon and other retailers like Kohl’s offers the benefit of pure convenience for customers. Customers can head to Kohl’s to return Amazon items for free and also interact with certain Amazon products physically in store before purchasing the item, which is a huge incentive for them to join Amazon. They can also do any other shopping needed in Kohl’s since they’ll already be in store.

Why Amazon Wins

Walmart is one of the biggest competitors for Amazon simply because Walmart offers in-store pickup and returns, which previously Amazon has not been able to offer. The partnership with Kohl’s resolves this issue and helps boost sales since the chain will sell Amazon devices.

Until all retailers (including Amazon) build out this last mile, the brick and mortar retailers like Walmart will be ahead of the game. For the e-tailers, the winning strategy (for now) will be partnerships such as the Amazon/Khol’s relationship.

What’s in it for Kohl’s?

With this partnership, Kohl’s gains more foot traffic in their stores. Statistics show that many people who return items in-store purchase other items while on their quest to return items. This can help boost Kohl’s sales and keep their stores flooded with consumers.

Since Amazon directly competes with Walmart and Walmart is stepping up their e-commerce game, this partnership could potentially turn into something bigger.

While Kohl’s is bearing the brunt of the logistics with this new partnership and allowing free Amazon returns, so far Kohl’s has seen higher foot traffic —which has resulted in greater sales volume. Rather than trying to defeat or compete with Amazon, Kohl’s has done what other retailers will not – they’ve joined the e-commerce giant’s team. Right now Kohl’s may just be a mascot for Amazon, but in the future … Could Kohl’s earn a spot on the Amazon roster along with Whole Foods?