Whole Foods Market is expanding its role as a drop-off location for consumers looking to return purchases to its sister retailers.
In an arrangement with Las Vegas-based e-retailer Zappos.com, which specializes in shoes and clothing, Whole Foods is supporting the launch of Zappos’ newest return option by accepting label free and box free returns.
The service is designed to make online buying and returning easier by removing the need for tape, labels, and shipping boxes, according to Zappos. It also benefits Whole Foods customers by enabling consumers to combine the errands of grocery shopping and arranging for package shipping.
Because Whole Foods and Zappos are both owned by Amazon.com Inc., the grocer is a “natural partner,” Scott Schaefer, Zappos chief executive officer, said in a statement. Whole Foods began accepting returns for Amazon purchases in 2020 at more than 500 stores nationwide. Amazon purchases also can be returned to Amazon Fresh locations.
To leverage the free service, consumers bring items in the original manufacturer’s packaging, such as a shoe box or clothing bag, to the Amazon return counter or customer service desk inside the Whole Foods store. Shoppers then show the return code on their mobile device to a store associate who will scan the code and then pack and ship the return.
Zappos also provides free shipping for customers who send returned items to the company via UPS. Consumers can receive a full refund by returning items within 365 days of purchase.