The state of play for returns

In the past retailers have doubled down to reduce costly returns, but now they're extending their policies...

The state of play for returns

Last April, ASOS announced that they were actively attempting to deter ‘Serial Returners’ and that they would be blacklisting repeat offenders. Now, in the wake of the UK lockdown, retailers are finding themselves having to promote and relax their returns processes to attract what little consumer spending there is.

The current extended returns times of retailers on Mallzee show a real range of return days.

Dune - 28 days

Nasty Gal - 28 days

TOWER London - 30 days

Ted Baker - 40 days

Aldo - 60 days

Jacamo - 60 days

JD Williams - 60 days

Simply Be - 60 days

White Stuff - 90 days

New Look - 90 days

Boden - 90 days

NA-KD - 90 days

Kurt Geiger - 100 days

Fatface - 180 days

By increasing return length, this obviously adds further uncertainty around levels of stock in the business. We asked Mallzee users how their buying habits were changing, and if the difficulties in returning were impacting how they were purchasing. The results were surprising; the majority indicated that they were shopping in much the same way and weren't thinking about returns at this point in time.

This is just a single strand to the many problems facing retailers at the moment. As the lockdown continues, it will be interesting to see if this stance changes and even grows so that consumers favour retailers with longer return policies.


Heather Darwent

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