Retail chain Kohl’s announced it will join the Amazon partner alliance and create 1,000-square-feet space in 10 of its locations for “Amazon Smart Home Experience.” There will be various Amazon devices such as Amazon Echo and Fire TV in this makeshift home environment.
Visitors can try out voice command with the Echo devices and its compatibility with other gadgets. When consumers feel like it, they may purchase Amazon gadgets at Kohl’s or online on the e-commerce site.
For Kohl’s, riding on the smart home trend can help it attract more customers. Trying out technology gadgets, rather than simply checking pictures online, is more important for some consumers before making a purchase.
“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 at Kohl’s, in a statement.
For Amazon, it’s just another piece in the company’s retail expansion plan. It has already teamed up with Best Buy to set up similar experience areas in-store, as well as its own physical bookstores in Seattle. Furthermore, an Echo display area has even been set up at Whole Foods, a US$13.7 billion acquisition of Amazon.
Meanwhile, Google has partnered with retail brands like Walmart and Home Depot, which have viewed Amazon as a big competitor for a long time. Apple will also display its HomePod by the end of the year in its Apple Store worldwide.
Kohl’s Amazon Smart Home Experience will first be unveiled in Los Angeles and Chicago stores this October. The retail chain currently has about 1,100 stores in the States.
“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 of sales and marketing at Amazon Devices.