Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
6 September 2017
Kohls Amazon partnership only helps Amazon
The Kohls Amazon partnership promises a smart home experience in 10 stores in Los Angeles and Chicago. Amazon zones now take up 1,000 square feet inside those Kohls stores, stocked with Amazon devices like the Echo and Fire TV.
Kohl’s also promotes Amazon Home Services, matching up contractors with home owners to install smart device or faucets or even do yard work. Think of it like Angie’s List.
That’s right, Kohl’s. If you can’t beat ‘em you may as well join ‘em.
The Kohls Amazon partnership is not unique. What’s left of Sears and Best Buy also sell Amazon devices as well. This is a puzzling move. For all of the complaining brick and mortar spouts about online kicking their collective asses, they are now giving them the keys to the kingdom.
“Partnerships like Kohls Amazon gives Amazon complete access to their customers.”
For Sears, the worst performing of the three I mentioned above, this is a white flag of surrender. We all know that Sears is dying, too proud to give up the ship and too stubborn to actually do any rebranding. This is just a desperate attempt to get somebody, ANYBODY in their stores.
Does Kohls Amazon partnerships make sense?
For Best Buy and Kohl’s, the moves make even less sense. Most people want to see their next TV or appliance in person. They like to touch it and feel it. Same at Kohl’s. I did a quick peek at products that each of these retailers sell, comparing them with Amazon. Surprisingly, prices were similar. Best Buy as a whole, when a product was not on sale, was a bit higher. (Sales prices match Amazon within a few dollars). Kohl’s, on the other hand, features sales items quite a bit cheaper than Amazon. And regularly priced merchandise cost about the same at Kohl’s and Amazon. (Keep in mind that Kohl’s is considered a discount retailer.)
It’s not about price.
Partnerships like Kohls Amazon gives Amazon complete access to their customers. Amazon loses nothing. Through Alexa, Kohl’s and Best Buy customers order anything they want through Amazon, get it shipped for free and in two days. For Kohl’s and Best Buy? They get the one-time sale of an Echo or Fire tablet.
Seems like these retailers are using the Amazon brand to their own detriment. Amazon is in it for the long-haul folks. Not a one-off sale
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