Retail market loses £7bn to serial returners

Recent research by Barclaycard has found that the returning of goods in the retails sector has cost the industry £7billion in pounds. This returning of items has led to a ‘phantom economy’ for online retailers who are particularly affected by the return of goods.

In the study, Barclaycard found that a quarter of the retailers they spoke to had seen a rise in return rates over the last 24 months. This increase was more prevalent in the fashion industry where stores reported 40% more refunds over the two year period.

One of the reasons for this increase in the number of returns could be the differences in clothes sizes between major brands. A lack of consistency over particular sizes means that purchases may not fit and need to be returned. Indeed the study found that this was the reason why more than a third of customers had taken items back.

The issue is causing problems for the industry, not just in terms of refunds but also due to the cost of returning items bought online. With many brands offering a ‘free returns’ policy, this means that items are either loss makers when they are returned (as the store has to pay postage fees) or that the cost of items are being marked up to cover this issue, meaning they are a less competitive price for the retailer and a less appealing choice for the consumer. Addressing the consistency of sizing could be one way to deal with the issue but only time will tell whether this approach will be taken.

Joaple have more than 30 years of experience in the retail industry. We supply a large selections of shopfitting equipment and display systems including baskets, baskets stackers, slatwall hooks, scanning rails and shelf dividers. For more information about any of our products please contact us on +44 01924 468940 .

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