1. Kohl’s-Amazon returns partnership goes nationwide
Starting in July, Kohl’s will accept returns from Amazon customers in all of its stores. Currently, only 100 stores offer this option. With this service, Kohl’s says it’s accepting “eligible” Amazon items — without a box or label — at no additional cost for the customer. It says it then packages the items and sends them back to one of Amazon’s return centers. A partnership with Amazon is one among the key steps taken by Kohl’s to up the traffic into its stores.
2. IKEA’s new urban planning studio
Furniture retailer IKEA opened its first urban planning studio on the Upper East side of New York City last week. The studio spans 17,350 square feet and occupies three floors, a much smaller footprint than its typical warehouse-like outlets. Customers can learn about small-space solutions by interacting with in-store consultants and can schedule a one to two-hour appointment with IKEA associates or explore the space in “self-planning” areas.
3. Zalando ends free delivery in the UK, Ireland, and Spain
A year after online retailer Zalando ended free shipping in Italy, the company has now ended free delivery in the UK, Ireland and Spain too. From the very beginning in 2008, Zalando chose to use a free delivery and return service to drive its sales. A decade on, in Q3 2018, it recorded heavy losses and weaker revenue growth, following which it ended free shipping for orders less than 25 euros in Italy. A Zalando spokesperson said there are no plans to introduce shipping costs for small packages in other countries.
4. PrettyLittleThing launches recycled clothing range
PrettyLittleThing has introduced a clothing range made from recycled materials and fabrics as the demand for sustainability continues to grow. The online womenswear retailer will launch 151 products in the new range, including cycling shorts, joggers, crop tops and skirts. It comes after the retailer announced a new partnership with clothing-recycling app Regain last week to help move unwanted clothing from landfill.
5. eBay to invest in Paytm Mall
eBay has reportedly begun talks to lead a $160-$170 million investment into Paytm Mall, as it looks to explore an offline-to-online commerce and payments strategy in India, according to two people aware of the deal. The deal is likely to be announced next month and would mark eBay’s third investment bet after Flipkart and Snapdeal.