Amazon subsidiaries Zappos, Whole Foods launch returns partnership – Chain Store Age


Two Amazon-owned retailers are teaming up to ease the process of returning items purchased online.
E-commerce company Zappos.com is introducing a new label-free, box-free returns service which is available at Whole Foods Markets stores nationwide starting Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. Using the Zappos iOS app, customers start the returns process in their Zappos account to find out if their order qualifies to be returned at any Whole Foods Market. If available, the Label Free Box Free option will appear.
Customers can then bring eligible items in their original manufacturer packaging, such as a shoe box, with no need to bring the original shipping box, to a Whole Foods Market store. Finally, shoppers can locate the return drop-off point either at the customer service desk or pickup & return kiosk and show an associate their return code. The associate then takes the item and completes the process.
In addition to this new collaborative omnichannel service, Zappos provides a returns process which allows return shipping of products from anywhere in the U.S. within 365 days of purchase. Zappos returns are always free.
“Being a customer-first company is in Zappos’ DNA. As our customers’ needs evolve, we evolve with them to ensure we’re exceeding expectations and delivering WOW, at every step,” said Scott Schaefer, CEO, Zappos.com. “With Label Free Box Free Returns, we’re excited to not only be better serving our customers, but also to have found a natural partner in Whole Foods Market—you might say, it’s a whole new kind of relationship for us.”
Amazon has been working to make online returns as easy as possible for several years now, bringing in an increasing number of partners both inside and outside its corporate umbrella. In 2019, the e-tail giant expanded a high-profile collaboration with Kohl’s for the department store chain to accept free, unpackaged returns of Amazon purchases.
Kohl’s packages and sends all returned items to Amazon returns centers on behalf of customers. Kohl’s launched the program at 82 stores in Chicago and Los Angeles in fall 2017. Since that time, Amazon has made most returns available with no box required.
After getting a QR code from the Amazon Return Center, customers can hand items to an associate at a participating brick-and-mortar location without a box or label, and they will pack and ship it for free. In addition to Kohl’s, free, no-box Amazon returns are available at Amazon physical stores; Whole Foods stores; and more than 4,768 UPS Store locations nationwide, with no box required for most items.
[Read more: Amazon streamlines customer return process]

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