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Kohl's and Amazon Strengthen Retail Partnership with Free Returns Plan

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On Tuesday, shares of department store Kohl’s Corp. (KSS - Free Report) popped, up over 4.5% at one point (though the stock is currently trading up about 1.3% in late-morning trading), after the retailer said it will begin to accept returns on select merchandise from (AMZN - Free Report) .

The return program is set to start in October in 82 Kohl’s locations throughout Los Angeles and Chicago, the same cities that the company is implementing its “store-in-store” concept called Amazon Smart Home Experience (read more: Kohl’s Rallies on New Store-In-Store Partnership with Amazon).

These mini shops will sell Amazon’s popular Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo smart speaker, and customers will be able to try and test out the e-commerce giant’s growing tech lineup.

This returns-focused program, however, will likely be a solid traffic driver for Kohl’s. Customers will be able to bring their Amazon products into a Kohl’s store, and the company will package and transport the items to Amazon’s return centers for free.

"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," said Richard Schepp, Kohl's chief administrative officer.

And, Kohl’s said that customers will be able to use “designated parking spots” close to store entrances if visiting a Kohl’s location for an Amazon return.

Other retailers are teaming up with Amazon, a smart move ahead of the upcoming holiday season. Sears , for instance, signed a deal to sell its Kenmore appliances on, while Best Buy (BBY - Free Report) has also created in-store Amazon concepts.

This is also not Amazon’s first time utilizing a brick-and-mortar retailer for its return services. After it completed its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, the company allowed shoppers to both pickup and return orders made on at one of the organic grocer’s over 400 stores.

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