Kohl's is jumping on the Amazon train

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Kohl's is jumping on the Amazon train

By Gina Acosta - 09/06/2017

Kohl's is hoping that an assortment differentiated by Amazon devices will help it drive sales.

Kohl's announced Wednesday that it is opening a new Amazon Smart Home Experience in 10 select Kohl’s stores across the Los Angeles and Chicago areas starting in October.

According to Kohl's, the new Amazon smart home spaces are a first-of-its-kind experience where customers can purchase Amazon devices, accessories and smart home devices and services directly from Amazon, within select Kohl’s stores.

Kohl's has been in a sales slump for several fiscal quarters, and it posted a 0.4% decline in same-store sales when it reported second quarter results last month. The retailer has been testing several new initiatives to drive sales. Kohl's says the new deal with Amazon is a mutually beneficial relationship designed to drive sales for both retailers.

“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, Kohl’s chief merchandising and customer officer. “Kohl’s and Amazon share a customer obsession and we’ve joined together to leverage each other’s strengths and deliver a great experience customers can only find at Kohl’s.”

Kohl's is not the only retailer to join forces with Amazon and other online giants on smart devices. Sears has a deal with Amazon, while Home Depot and Walmart have teamed up with Google. 

“We are thrilled to offer a unique new way for customers to try out our lineup of Alexa-enabled Amazon devices, learn more about our smart home services from Amazon experts and then buy those items directly from Amazon—all within Kohl’s stores,” said Dave Zimmer, vice president, sales and marketing, Amazon Devices. “Teaming up with Kohl’s provides an incredible opportunity to pair world-class customer and shopping experiences.”

The Amazon Smart Home Experience at Kohl’s will be a 1,000-square-foot zone that will provide a hands-on, interactive and engaging array of smart home products with a variety of Amazon devices, including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablets and more.

The experience will showcase how smart home products – many powered by Alexa – can modernize and simplify home management, entertainment, security and more. The Amazon smart home experience at Kohl’s will allow customers to touch, feel and interact with Amazon devices before they buy. Amazon sales associates with deep knowledge of Amazon devices and smart home products will staff the space.

Customers can schedule an Amazon expert to come to their home, evaluate their needs and install smart home products. Customers can also take advantage of Amazon Home Services, which offers access to vetted local services professionals, to help with everything around the house from cleaning to plumbing.

After announcing the deal with Amazon, Kohl's stock was up on Wednesday.

Kohl's has more than 1,100 stores in 49 states. 

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