Retailers may pay customers to keep returns
Retailers are struggling as freight fuel prices hit an all-time high and supply chain turmoil continues are considering issuing refunds without customers sending back merchandise . A CNN Report today states, Target, Walmart, Gap and Urban Outfitters are seriously weighing their options for revising their return and exchange policies. The first major retailer, in the e-commerce space, Amazon launched a “returnless return” policy for certain cheaper, expensive-to-ship items several years ago — when the cost of receiving the return outweighs the cost of the merchandise.
A survey by the National Retail Federation and Appriss Retail, retail returns hit an average of 16.6% in 2021 — up from 10.6% the year prior — adding up to more than $761 billion of merchandise that’s likely to end up back in stores, outlets and warehouses. They can also move them to foreign liquidators in Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
KCCI reports, the rising costs of fuel and the ongoing troubles at ports across the country make selling products overseas a challenge. Officials with some of these large companies say they are considering a ‘keep it’ option for returns this year. That while the ‘keep it’ policy has advantages for retailers in the current market, it does have one drawback. Fraud. As customers may buy up more merchandise and make false return claims, leading to even more increased returns.
I have 15 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a speaker, consultant and former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.