Retailers Warned Returns Policies Could Cost Billions and Cause Waste
January 15, 2023
RETAILERS have been urged to rethink liberal returns policies amid claims that they could cost businesses billions of pounds and damage the environment.
An academic at the University of Southampton issued the warning amid estimates that returns are costing UK retailers £7billion a year.
Dr Regina Frei, associate professor of operations and supply chain management, said: “Post-Christmas returns are rife, but businesses need to make sure they are prepared as more people take advantage of liberal policies during the cost-of-living crisis.
“Firstly, we need to address why returns happen in the first place. It could be a bad fit, or a wrong colour. This can easily be fixed by more accurate sizing charts – such as including the model’s height and the size they are wearing online – staff training or up-to-date information online and in store.”
Other measures could include introducing fitting tools, encouraging customer reviews with incentives to leave them, clearly displayeing delivery estimates and removing of “damaging” policies that focus too much on easy returns rather than avoiding waste, she said.
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