In an industry dominated by Amazon, many retailers are choosing to join the giant rather than compete with it. Companies such as Nike and Sears have recently announced partnerships with Amazon, to sell items on its marketplace and enhance products with Amazon technology respectively. Now Kohl’s is partnering with Amazon to sell Echo devices inside its stores.
The Kohl’s move is both bold and smart as a new way to gain more foot traffic in stores. Since Echo devices and other Amazon tech products are generally available on Amazon’s web site, consumers don’t have many opportunities to touch and experience the product in real life — unless, of course, they are near a new Amazon Books store.
The department store chain announced it will open 1,000-square-foot Amazon sections — dubbed Amazon Smart Home Experience — in 10 locations. The departments will be designed to demonstrate how Amazon-powered smart home products can modernize and simplify home management, entertainment, security and more with Echo devices, Fire TVs and Fire tablets. Kohl’s did not identify which of its stores would contain the new sections.
“We believe in the power of our store portfolio and know that our future as a best-in-class omnichannel retailer will be driven by how inventive, compelling and unique we can make our store experience,” said Michelle Gass, Chief Merchandising and Customer Officer for Kohl’s in a statement. “Kohl’s and Amazon share a customer obsession and we’ve joined together to leverage each other’s strengths and deliver a great experience that customers can only find at Kohl’s.”