SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 6:  Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds a new front-lit Kindle Paperwhite 3G reading device during a press conference on September 6, 2012 in Santa Monica, California.  Amazon unveilved the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire HD in 7 and 8.9-inch sizes. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 6: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds a new front-lit Kindle Paperwhite 3G reading device during a press conference on September 6, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. Amazon unveilved the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire HD in 7 and 8.9-inch sizes. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:42
These industries could be Amazon's next targets
Getty Images
Now playing
02:18
This airplane-shaped bag is selling for more than some actual planes
Now playing
00:54
See Nike's new 'hands-free' shoe
One of many large boxes of returned products that fill the warehouse. The returned products in this box will eventually be sorted and categorized.
John General/CNN
One of many large boxes of returned products that fill the warehouse. The returned products in this box will eventually be sorted and categorized.
Now playing
05:08
Here's where your 'free' online returns actually end up
Shutterstock
Now playing
04:42
Ever receive a package you didn't order? It could be a scam
Orangetheory Fitness
Now playing
02:13
This gym is actually opening studios during the pandemic
Now playing
02:24
How holiday spirit is surging despite the Covid-19 pandemic
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: A view of the window display as Macy's Herald Square unveils Give, Love, Believe 2020 Holiday Windows on November 19, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy's)
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for Macy's
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: A view of the window display as Macy's Herald Square unveils Give, Love, Believe 2020 Holiday Windows on November 19, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy's)
Now playing
00:56
Macy's unveils holiday window display with gratitude theme
CNN/Target/Design by John General
Now playing
02:36
It's official: Black Friday is irrelevant
Now playing
02:23
Party City CEO: Consumers still want to celebrate together
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/07/08: People wearing face masks shopping inside a retail store in Manhattan as the city enters phase 3 of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic
As New York City enters phase 3 of reopening retail stores for indoor shopping, restaurants have been postponed for indoor dinning. The U.S. Department of Health recorded a total of 3,219,999 infections, 135,822 death and 1,426,428 recovered since the beginning of the outbreak. (Photo by Braulio Jatar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Braulio Jatar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/07/08: People wearing face masks shopping inside a retail store in Manhattan as the city enters phase 3 of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic As New York City enters phase 3 of reopening retail stores for indoor shopping, restaurants have been postponed for indoor dinning. The U.S. Department of Health recorded a total of 3,219,999 infections, 135,822 death and 1,426,428 recovered since the beginning of the outbreak. (Photo by Braulio Jatar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:38
US retail sales improved in September
thehouseofdrew.com
Now playing
02:01
Justin Bieber's footwear collaboration overwhelms site
Walmart
Now playing
01:01
See what's new inside Walmart stores
3119 E Third Street Dollar General in Dayton, OH on March 12, 2020.
Maddie McGarvey for CNN
3119 E Third Street Dollar General in Dayton, OH on March 12, 2020.
Now playing
06:07
Dollar General's business is booming. It's also vulnerable to crime, police say
Now playing
03:01
How private equity is gutting retail
Now playing
01:55
All retail bankruptcies are not the same. Here's what you need to know

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of Kohl's stores in the United States.

(CNN Business) —  

Kohl’s brought Amazon into a small number of stores almost two years ago. Now Kohl’s is throwing its full weight behind the partnership.

The department store announced on Tuesday that it will accept Amazon customers’ order returns for free — even without their shipping box — at all of its more than 1,150 US stores beginning in July. Shoppers can drop off their returns at customer service desks, and Kohl’s will package and ship the items back to Amazon using its own logistics network.

The plan marks a major expansion of Kohl’s (KSS) relationship with Amazon (AMZN), one that analysts say is among the most creative tie-ups in retail.

Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said in a research note Tuesday that the partnership illustrated that “stores are needed, even as online shopping becomes increasingly pervasive.”

Kohl’s began accepting free returns for Amazon customers in 2017. The retailer started a test with Amazon at 82 stores in Los Angeles and Chicago at the time and has since added close to two dozen stores in Milwaukee to the pilot.

CEO Michelle Gass believed that joining with Amazon could help attract younger shoppers to its stores. Gass and her team hoped that when customers returned their Amazon orders, they would stick around after and shop the store. For Amazon, the partnership gave it convenient locations for customers to drop off their returns.

Gass told analysts in March that customers have welcomed the service. “It’s really unique. It takes a lot of the hassle out of returning items,” she said.

Kohl’s has never disclosed how Amazon returns have helped sales at pilot stores. But Chicago stores that accept Amazon returns have attracted new customers, according to a report by data analytics firm Earnest Research last month.

On Tuesday, Gass said the partnership was an “example of how Kohl’s is delivering innovation to drive traffic to our stores and bring more relevance to our customers.”

Kohl’s stock ended the day up nearly 12% after the expansion plan was announced.

Separately, Kohl’s said last month that it would sell a small selection of Amazon merchandise at more than 200 stores.

Some analysts believe that Kohl’s could go further with Amazon, including bringing new Amazon concepts to its stores, such as Amazon Go, Amazon Books, or Amazon 4-Star.

Kohl’s could even lease out store space to Whole Foods. Kohl’s is experimenting with shrinking the size of some stores, and it has partnered with Aldi and Planet Fitness to open up several supermarkets and gyms next to Kohl’s.

“This is just the beginning,” Konik said.