Posted by Alex Jackson on September 06, 2019
There’s an odd phenomenon happening right now in the brick and mortar retail world, and it has to do with returns. Once upon a time, retailers cringed at the thought of returns and did their best to discourage them. Now not only are they encouraging them, but they are also going out of their way to accept returns from other retailers. Probably the most significant example of this trend is the Amazon/Kohl’s partnership. Did you buy something from Amazon recently and later decided to return it? The only problem is you already trashed the box? No problem! Take it back to Kohl’s to return it. This partnership launched a trial run program back in 2017 when select stores in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Milwaukee started to accept these Amazon returns. Now in 2019, the program has spread to all of the 1100+ Kohl’s locations. Nordstrom is the most recent retailer to get in on the accepting returns game. Earlier this week they announced plans to start accepting returns from Kohls and Macy’s at their Nordstrom Local locations. These Nordstrom Local locations are smaller footprint stores geared towards services like style consultation, custom tailoring, shoe repair, etc. see our blog for more information.
Now to some, this may seem like retailers taking on a lot of extra work for little or no reward. In actuality, it’s a play to bring a distracted consumer back into the brick and mortar world.
Kohl’s test run back in 2017 demonstrated the potential advantages of accepting Amazon’s returns when it realized that the Chicago locations that were part of the test program saw increased sales well above the retailer’s national average. When you think about it for a minute, it seems perfectly logical. In a retail environment where consumers seem to be abandoning the physical retailer in droves for the ease of shopping online, why not offer them an excellent reason to come back in? The customer walks in with an Amazon return and walks out a few minutes later with a Kohl’s shopping bag in hand instead.
Online and physical retail is starting to realize that one will not exist without the other and that neither are going to be disappearing anytime soon. They are instead learning to live and work together in a mutually beneficial manner. What does this mean for independent retailers? Easier returns mean more goods in the secondary market that’s where Foxliquidation comes in offering you the best products from the best retailers that you know you can profit from.