- Kohl’s said Tuesday that its partnership with Amazon is increasing shopper traffic to its stores.
- Kohl’s started accepting Amazon returns at all its 1,150 stores in July.
- Shopper visits to Kohl’s stores rose nearly 24% in the three weeks after it started accepting Amazon returns, compared to the previous three weeks, data from inMarket shows.
- “Micro” visits lasting under five minutes increased the most. Visits lasting longer than 16 minutes also rose – by roughly 14% – indicating a potential sales lift for Kohl’s.
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Kohl’s partnership with Amazon is driving up foot traffic to its stores, Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass said Tuesday.
“We are confident that our upcoming brand launches, program expansions, and increased traffic from the Amazon returns program will incrementally contribute to our performance during the balance of the year and beyond,” Gass said in an earnings release.
Kohl’s started accepting Amazon returns at all its 1,150 stores in July. The company said same-store sales fell 2.9% during the second quarter, but turned positive during the last six weeks of the period ending August 3.
The location data advertising firm inMarket has estimated that foot traffic to Kohl’s stores increased nearly 24% in the three weeks after the Amazon returns program launched, compared to the previous three weeks.
Short visits lasting under five minutes increased the most, by roughly 17%, according to the data. These “micro” visits are likely from shoppers who returned Amazon orders to Kohl’s stores and then left without making any purchases, said Cameron Peebles, the chief marketing officer of inMarket.
Longer visits also rose, however, indicating a potential sales lift for Kohl’s. Visits lasting more than 16 minutes increased about 14%, according to inMarket, which analyses anonymous location data from the mobile devices of 50 million US shoppers.
If shoppers are staying longer than 16 minutes in the store, they are most likely making a purchase, Peebles said.
He called the returns program a “slam dunk” for both Amazon and Kohl’s.
“Kohl’s has no interest in making Amazon more money,” Peebles told Business Insider. “But they made a strong business case that these people coming in to make Amazon returns are going to stick around and shop. And it seems, based on foot traffic, that it’s working.”
Peebles said he expects Amazon to announce similar partnerships with other retailers in the near future, given the success of the Kohl’s program and how easy it could be to replicate.
Kohl’s did not respond to a request for comment on the data. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment specifically on the data and pointed Business Insider to a fact page on Amazon returns.
The companies started testing the returns program in 2017 and launched it nationwide on July 8. Gass described the nationwide rollout as the company’s “single biggest initiative of the year” at the time.
The program allows shoppers to return Amazon orders to any of Kohl’s more than 1,150 US stores. Customers don’t have to worry about boxes, tape, or labels – Kohl’s will pack and ship the items for free.
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