Amazon to open store-in-store concept inside some Kohl's locations

The 1,000-square-foot "Amazon Smart Home Experience" areas will offer gadgets such as the Echo voice-activated smart speaker device and the Fire TV stick.

Competitors need to answer the Amazon question

Amazon has a new deal with retail chain Kohl's to sell its branded devices within designated "experience spaces" inside of select Kohl's stores.

The department store chain said it will open 1,000-square-foot "Amazon Smart Home Experience" areas in 10 of its locations. The store-within-a-store will offer gadgets such as the Echo voice-activated smart speaker device and the Fire TV stick.

The partnership is not particularly groundbreaking, but it does provide a few key wins for both companies. For Amazon, the experience shops will add to its growing presence in the brick-and-mortar retail world, and potentially help the company sell a few more Kindles and Echoes along the way. Amazon will also use the experience shops to push adoption of its Home Services business.

"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, Amazon's marketing VP, in a statement.

For Kohl's, the Amazon deal could help the retailer shake up the in-store experience and lure more shoppers through its doors. Indeed, there are plenty of other places where one can purchase Amazon-branded devices -- including Best Buy, Amazon.com, and most recently, Whole Foods -- but if there's a void in that group somewhere, Kohl's is hoping to fill it.

In somewhat of a dueling announcement, Alphabet's Google and The Home Depot unveiled a partnership of their own that will let Home Depot customers make voice-activated purchases via the Assistant on Google Home. Google and Walmart inked the same type of cross-selling pact last month, following earlier deals with Costco and Target.

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