Dec 6, 2022
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Black Friday returns are "tidal wave" - report

Dec 6, 2022

Black Friday may have defied expectations of a gloomy shopping event, but “retailers have been brought back down to earth with a tidal-wave of returns across November”, new data shows. 

Photo: Pixabay/Public domain

ReBound, which works with major retailers including ASOS, River Island and Crocs, said this week that November returns were 26.6% higher than a year ago, and added that it’s “important to note, returns eclipsed last year’s total on Black Friday so the additional 26% all came in the past few days”.

Laura Garrett, returns expert at ReBound, said: “It goes without saying that spikes in returns always follow sales periods, as impulse purchasing on a good deal leads to buyer’s remorse. But the initial results from the Black Friday weekend show that 2022 is likely to be a record returns year.

“A snapshot from Cyber Monday shows returns were already 8.4% higher by lunchtime than in 2021. In fact, returns across November are already significantly higher than last year. If we look at the data, we actually hit 2021 total returns for the entirety of November by Black Friday itself. Even retailers that learnt from last year and prepared as much as possible for this year, could still be facing volumes beyond what they planned for.”

This could be a major problem, apart from the basic fact of the hoped-for boost to the bottom line fizzling out, as Garrett said that despite retailer attempts to avoid the logistical nightmare of a one-day spike, the volume of returns in November will pile extra pressure on them as they try to turn products around in time for Christmas.

She added that the cost-of-living crisis “is clearly playing a part in this increased volume, as the impact of energy bills soaring in October, and mortgage rates, rocketing have buyers’ thinking twice about their purchasing choices”.

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