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Report: Amazon applies small fee to some UPS Store returns

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Amazon is ending some free returns at UPS Store locations.

Amazon is reportedly trying to encourage customers to make online returns at locations other than The UPS Store.

According to USA Today coverage of news first reported in The Information, customers dropping off purchases made on the Amazon e-commerce site for return at UPS Store brick-and-mortar locations will be assessed a $1 fee if there is a Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, or Kohl’s store closer to their delivery address.

Amazon owns the Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh chains, and has partnered with Kohl’s to accept drop-offs of its online returns free of charge to consumers at all of the department store retailer’s stores nationwide since 2019.

"We offer convenient, easy returns to Amazon customers, with one or more options for label-free, box-free returns at no cost," an Amazon spokesperson said a statement to USA Today. "We always offer a free option for customers to return their item – if a customer would prefer to return their item at a UPS Store when there is a free option closer to their delivery address, a very small amount of customers may incur a $1 fee."

Read more here.

Amazon reduces corporate costs

Amazon has been identifying items that are frequently returned on its website in recent months, and the retailer has been initiating a variety of cost-cutting measures as e-commerce volumes fall from their peak pandemic levels.

Amazon recently reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, but a loss on its stake in electric-truck maker Rivian Automotive took a big bite out of its profits. The online giant also warned of slower growth for the short term, with CFO Brian Olsavsky saying on a call that the company expects slower rates for the next few quarters amid an uncertain economic environment. 

In November 2022, Amazon publicly announced it has decided to “consolidate” some teams and programs in the devices and services organization (responsible for product lines such as Amazon Echo and Kindle devices). The company also announced a voluntary reduction offer for some employees in its People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organization. As a result, Amazon said an unspecified number of jobs are being eliminated.

At the beginning of 2023, Amazon said it plans to eliminate just over 18,000 roles in 2023, with the majority of eliminations in its Amazon Stores and PXT organizations. The company is also closing eight Amazon Go convenience store locations and has phased out its Amazon Smile program that lets customers make charitable donations through their purchases.



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