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Kohl’s Will Now Process Your Amazon Returns

It’s convenient for shoppers, sure, but it’s indicative of the trouble retail is in.

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After Kohl’s announced it would sell Amazon gadgets in 10 of its stores, it’s decided to up the ante by accepting Amazon returns in 82 locations across Chicago and Los Angeles. Kohl’s employees will now pack and ship items back to Amazon fulfillment centers for customers free of charge.

Kohl’s is also sweetening the deal by letting customers park in designated spots near store entrances, keeping the box-schlepping to a minimum. Kohl’s didn’t share whether the service will be rolled out to other cities, but it’s safe to assume a partnership between the two companies will only continue to expand.

While Kohl’s chief administrative officer Richard Schepp said the move demonstrates “a great example of how Kohl’s and Amazon are leveraging each other's strengths,” it is clearly a play to get shoppers into Kohl’s doors, as foot traffic in department stores in particular is down significantly. That a once-mighty retailer like Kohl’s is willing to do shoppers’ annoying tasks for them in the hopes that they might browse — or even buy something! — signals just how troubled retail is... not that we needed a reminder.