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With Kohl's partnership, Amazon eclipses Target, threatens Walmart with retail presence

9 months ago by James Mattone in Markets
Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass and Amazon's Jeff Bezos make a dream team to fend off big box competitors. Amazon just rolled out its return service to all Kohl's locations, which now makes Amazon's brick-and-mortar presence double that of Target.

A week after it announced its partnership with Rite Aid ($NYSE:RAD), Amazon ($NASDAQ:AMZN) officially started accepting returns through all Kohl's ($NYSE:KSS) locations, further increasing its retail presence to its online stores by 1,100 brick and mortar locations. At these stores, customers can walk in with anything they bought from Amazon and, so long as they adhere by the lenient return policy, can ship it back to the company.

Now that Amazon has officially embedded its service at Kohl's — it originally only offered its Alexa smart devices in stores before — its e-commerce presence in brick-and-mortar locations now doubles thanks to the number of Target ($NYSE:TGT) stores in America. 

According to Amazon, there were already about 2,800 locker locations coast-to-coast — including those at Whole Foods — and our data tracks 1,852 existing Target store locations.

Even just counting all the Whole Foods and Kohl's locations alone, leaving out the standalone Amazon Locker locations, there is only a 176-store-gap between Amazon and Target. That gap will immediately be filled, however, as soon as the Counter service comes out to Rite Aid stores and expands slightly past the original 100 store locations.

Amazon's continued expansion into retail outlets poises a new challenge to big box retailers who have escaped the death vice of e-commerce so far. For now, it seems that partnering with an apex predator is the best strategy any brick-and-mortar retailers can put to work. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, mainly covering video games, food, and tech news, but not afraid to head into Sephora or beauty brands if need be...

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