Kohl’s to Start Accepting Amazon Returns, Deepening Ties

Kohl’s said it will begin accepting and processing Amazon returns for free at 82 stores in Los Angeles and Chicago starting in October. The company will pack and ship eligible returns.

The news comes less than two weeks after the companies announced plans to open 1,000-square-foot boutiques in select Kohl’s locations that will sell Amazon devices and smart home services, also in those cities starting in October.

“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,” said Richard Schepp, Chief Administrative Officer of Kohl’s in a release. “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.”

Amazon-purchased items can be returned for free regardless of whether the items are packaged for shipping; Kohl’s will package and transport them to Amazon return centers. Kohl’s will also provide designated parking spots near store entrances for Amazon customers with returns.

“Amazon Returns at Kohl’s creates a convenient location for Amazon customers to return eligible Amazon.com merchandise,” said Shivi Shankaran, Director of Worldwide Customer Returns at Amazon in the release. “Teaming up with Kohl’s provides an incredible opportunity to pair our world-class return experience with a great shopping experience, expanding our service options to our customers in the Los Angeles and Chicago areas.”

MCM Musings: Other department store chains competing with Kohl’s such as Macy’s, Walmart, JC Penney and Target should be concerned about this deepening integration with the ecommerce giant. It is unlikely Amazon would strike similar deals with Kohl’s competitors, although Sears recently agreed to sell Kenmore appliances on its site. Again Kohl’s benefits from increased traffic to its stores, and Amazon wins by giving customers a convenient returns option – and by getting its devices and smart home services in front of a new audience.

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