Amazon will further wend its way into physical retail next month when 82 Kohl’s stores in Chicago and Los Angeles begin accepting product returns from the world’s largest e-tailer.
The program, called simply Amazon Returns at Kohl’s, extends a previous pact between the retailers, which will posit Amazon smart-home sections in 10 Chicago and L.A. test stores.
Under the latest plan, Kohl’s will pack and ship eligible Amazon returns at no charge to customers in what Kohl’s chief administrative officer Richard Schepp called an “unprecedented and innovative concept.”
“This is a great example of how Kohl’s and Amazon are leveraging each other’s strengths,” he said — “the power of Kohl’s store portfolio and omnichannel capabilities combined with the power of Amazon’s reach and loyal customer base.”
Kohl’s is also providing designated parking spots for Amazon Returns customers near store entrances as an added convenience, the partners said.
Despite dismissing physical storefronts as a retail anachronism in the years following its launch, Amazon’s latest move into brick-and-mortar follows its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in August, and the opening of 11 bookstores (with two more on the way); numerous pop-up mall shops; a pilot scan-and-go grocery store; at least seven storefront pickup locations; and massive fulfillment centers across the country.