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The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that a new study from Earnest Research examining the relationship between Amazon and the Kohl’s department store chain, concludes that it has been largely successful.

The relationship between the two companies allowed customers to return products bought on Amazon to some 100 Kohl’s locations, including some in the Chicago area.

According to the story, “Earnest Research says it based its conclusions on an analysis of credit, debit and bill payment activity from millions of anonymous consumers in the United States. The firm says its analysis found 7% to 8% of Kohl’s customers in Chicago were making Amazon returns last summer, compared with 3% in most of the rest of the country.”

At the same time, “Earnest Research found an uptick in revenue growth at Kohl’s in the Chicago area coincides with approximately the start of the Amazon pilot. Prior to the partnership, the study says, sales in the Chicago region tracked closely with the rest of the nation. Then in the first quarter of 2018, growth topped more than 10% in Chicago, compared with 5% for the rest of the nation.”
KC's View:
The story rightly observes that some folks criticized Kohl’s for sleeping with the enemy, while others suggested that it was innovative for the traditional retailer to take this step. The numbers would suggest that Kohl’s found some benefit in the relationship, and that’s a good thing … though I do think that Kohl’s will only feel Amazon’s love for as long as it benefits Amazon.