Amazon customers who have products they’d like to return will soon be able to drop them off at a local Kohl’s outlet. Starting in October, and initially launching in 82 retail locations within Chicago and Los Angeles, Kohl’s will pack and ship these items to Amazon return centers for no additional cost.
Speaking about the free service, Kohl’s Chief Administrative Officer Richard Schepp said “We are thrilled to launch this unprecedented and innovative concept, allowing customers to bring in their unpackaged Amazon returns to Kohl’s and we will pack them, ship them, and return them to Amazon for free. This is a great example of how Kohl’s and Amazon are leveraging each other’s strengths.”
In addition to packaging items for free, the brick-and-mortar retailer will be creating “designated parking spots” for customers dropping off an Amazon return. These spots will likely be located near the entrance of the store. Kohl’s hasn’t released specific details on how returns will be inventoried, but it’s likely an Amazon customer will receive some form of receipt when products are dropped off at Kohl’s retail locations.
Assuming this test run is successful, Amazon and Kohl’s could expand the service out to all of Kohl’s 1,100-plus retail locations across the United States. In addition, Amazon could bring the core framework of this service to the online retailer’s most recent acquisition, Whole Foods. Hypothetically, Amazon could set up a similar return center within Whole Foods to process online order returns.
Of course, this isn’t the first mention of the working partnership between Amazon and Kohl’s. Earlier this month, Kohl’s announced that an “Amazon smart home experience” would be created within ten stores in Chicago and Los Angeles. Kohl’s customers will be able to test products like the various Amazon Echo devices, the Fire TV set-top box, as well as Fire tablets.
Essentially, customers will be able to experience what the Alexa voice-controlled ecosystem has to offer prior to making a purchase. In addition, customers can request that an Amazon associate visit their home in order to recommend products as well as install those smart products within their home.
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