Shares of Kohl's (KSS) jumped in morning trading after the company announced that it would expand its partnership with Amazon (AMZN) and will now accept Amazon returns at all of its stores nationwide beginning in July.
PARTNERSHIP EXPANSION: Kohl’s on Tuesday announced it will start accepting returns for items purchased on Amazon at all of its stores across the country, starting in July. Kohl’s and Amazon will roll out the program to all of Kohl’s more than 1,150 locations across 48 states, and Kohl’s will accept eligible Amazon items, without a box or label, and return them for customers for free.
"We are thrilled to bring Amazon Returns at Kohl’s to all of our stores across the country," said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer. "Amazon and Kohl’s have a shared passion in providing outstanding customer service, and this unique partnership combines Kohl’s strong nationwide store footprint and omnichannel capabilities with Amazon’s reach and customer loyalty. This new service is another example of how Kohl’s is delivering innovation to drive traffic to our stores and bring more relevance to our customers."
According to Kohl's, Amazon Returns at Kohl’s creates "convenient locations for Amazon customers to return eligible Amazon.com merchandise to their local Kohl’s store." These items can be returned free of charge regardless of return reason and regardless of whether the items are packaged or unpackaged for shipping, it said, adding that Kohl’s will package and send all returned items to Amazon returns centers on behalf of customers.
WHAT'S NOTABLE: Kohl’s and Amazon first worked together in 2017 to pilot the returns program, which is currently operating in 100 stores in the Los Angeles, Chicago and Milwaukee markets.
Last month, Kohl’s also announced that it will expand its product relationship with Amazon by carrying Amazon products in more than 200 stores. Though Amazon announced in March that it planned to shutter its pop-up shops across the country, Kohl's will continue to sell items including the Fire TV and Echo Dot.
Kohl’s previously laid out plans earlier this year to reduce its square footage over time, but its plans do not entail shuttering stores altogether. Kohl’s has also been testing other initiatives, including a partnership with Under Armour (UA, UAA) to sell the sports apparel company’s merchandise, as well as a development partnership with Planet Fitness (PLNT) in order to compete in the crowded retail space.
Earlier this month, CEO Gass told CNBC's Mad Money that the company's two main priorities are driving traffic and "operational excellence," adding that the retailer's Amazon partnership "will facilitate returns." Gass said at the time that she sees opportunities to make some of its stores smaller.
PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, shares of Kohl's are up nearly 8% to $72.78.