Kohl’s Shares Up With Expansion of Amazon Returns Program

Shares of retailer Kohl’s jumped nearly 9 percent, to $73.47, on Tuesday with word that consumers will soon be able to bring Amazon returns to any of the company’s 1,200—or so—stores.  The pilot program is only available at about 100 stores, for now, but if everything goes as planned, the service will go into full effect in July. In all, Kohl’s stock has risen 1.7 percent on the year, so far. 

In a press release, Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass explained that the partnership with the tech giant—which they fittingly call “Amazon Returns”—is an attempt at “delivering innovation” as well as driving more foot traffic to brick-and-mortar Kohl’s stores. 

Gass comments, “We are thrilled to bring Amazon Returns at Kohl’s to all of our stores across the country. 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.”

With that, it should also be noted that Kohl’s issued a warrant to an investment arm of Amazon in order to allow the tech giant to buy up to 1.75 million shares of Kohl’s stock. The issued warrant applies to a multiyear period that will start in January of 2020. 

While this is certainly a big—and maybe even surprising—move, it is not the first time that Kohl’s and Amazon have chosen to work together. Last month, for example, Kohl’s said it will expand its existing relationship with the e-commerce innovator by carrying Amazon-branded products in at least 200 stores in the chain. This builds on their relationship, which started in 2017 and allowed customers to return items purchased on Amazon directly to a Kohl’s register. 

Kohl’s has been careful, however, to assert that they are only able to accept “eligible” returns.  Essentially this means that you probably will not be able to bring back items purchased from a third party through the Amazon online store.  If the item you bought came directly from an Amazon warehouse, though, it will likely be allowed.  Basically, you want to check with the online Amazon Returns Center section of the website to confirm your return’s eligibility.