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Amazon to sell products in Chicago, Los Angeles Kohl's stores

Starting next month, Chicago-area shoppers will be able to shop for Amazon products in an unlikely spot: Kohl's.

Amazon will have space dedicated to its devices, smart home products and accessories in 10 Kohl's stores in Chicago and Los Angeles, Kohl's said Wednesday.

The department store chain is the latest retailer to announce a partnership with Amazon as the e-commerce giant experiments with bricks-and-mortar retail. It's another way to get products in front of shoppers — especially items customers often want to test before buying, like smart devices and tablets. E-commerce is growing fast, but most retail sales still happen in stores.

For Kohl's, it's a way to use existing store space to give customers something they won't currently find at other department stores.

Stores that are part of the partnership will have a 1,000-square-foot area staffed by Amazon employees, Kohl's said. Shoppers also can book in-home appointments with Amazon experts who can help install smart home products. Kohl's declined to say which Chicago-area stores will have the Amazon shops, which open in October.

Kohl's also has been working to shrink its stores — either by moving into smaller spaces, or by changing the layout and adjusting fixtures and inventory.

Amazon has 11 bookstores that sell its e-book readers, tablets, smart speakers and other electronics, but it also has opened pop-up shops in malls. Last month, it purchased grocery chain Whole Foods, and reportedly began selling its Echo speaker in some Whole Foods stores.

lzumbach@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @laurenzumbach

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