Online shopping boom leaves retailers lumbered with £2.5bn worth of unwanted presents

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(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Mon, 1 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

Retailers are expected to be lumbered with £2.5bn worth of unwanted presents over the Christmas period.

A boom in online shopping means companies are having to deal with ­increasingly challenging levels of ­returns, according to logistics consultancy LCP.

“The price retailers have to pay for online growth is pretty substantial,” Stuart Higgins, LCP’s director of retail,  said.

Shoes have by far the highest return rate at a whopping 28pc, followed by clothes on 20pc and homewares on 15pc.   As well as arranging for the items to be returned, retailers have to spend time and money ensuring the products are ready to be resold – by ironing clothes or checking electrical products’ fuses, for instance.

LCP says the typical online order costs £2-£3 more to process than an in-store purchase.

“Not only will this flood of returns put additional demands on retailers’ back-end operations during one of the busiest times of the year, it will also impact their stores as a third of returns will come back into stores just as they’re launching their January sales,” Mr Higgins said.

Distance-selling rules mean online retailers must allow customers to ­return their goods for a full refund if they change their mind during a ­14-day “cooling off” period.

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