The number of gifts being sent back on National Returns Day, 2nd January, was expected to be 72% higher than the average day in December accordingly to the Royal Mail.
Retailers struggle to manage the £60 billion worth of products being returned to UK retailers annually.
The most returned items
B-Stock, a leading online secondary marketplace identified toys, kitchen items, tols and womens apparel being the most returned items.
“Every year, the number of truckloads of returns doubles between January and March following the Christmas period,” says Ben Whitaker, EMEA Director at B-Stock.
“Consumer behaviour is driving this level of returns with online shopping and customer-friendly returns policies encouraging the shop, regret and return customer behaviour. Online holiday returns are projected to reach rates of around 50 per cent of the total holiday sales figure of £21.22 billion. Retailers are swallowing billions of pounds of profits every year on holiday returns and each year the number is growing.”
50% of adults say they do not want to use the present they received on Christmas Day.
Returning goods is not good for the environment
“With 2019 being a difficult year for retailers, returns place a burden on the retail industry who are already under pressure to generate profits across the high street and online. Many of the top leading retailers have strategies to deal with returned gifts such as finding resellers who are willing to buy these untouched presents and sell on. Doing so also supports the circular economy and avoids returned gifts from ending up in landfill which is a growing concern for retailers.”
As we head into 2020, sustainability is a growing area which retailers are increasingly taking responsibility for.
“Already this Christmas, we have witnessed John Lewis removing the plastic toys from Christmas crackers and consumers switching to recyclable Christmas paper. The way retailers manage returned overstock is also a business operation which is under scrutiny particularly at this time of year when returns are the highest. This is why global leading retailers are utilising secondary marketplaces to deal with masses of returned overstock, simultaneously offsetting the losses of returned products too,”
Christmas gifts should be about giving something small as a Christmas treat, it shouldn’t even be a product that is returnable? Why not ask people what they want? Returning products may mean they can not be resold, so it is not sustainable for retailers to be left with lots of stock they can not sell on, and it is certainly not good for the environment to have so much waste.
B-Stock is one of many online market places that sell goods that retailers can not sell on. Worth a look.