Processing unwanted items has become a growing issue for retailers since the Covid online surge.
Boohoo customers will now have to pay £1.99 when they return unwanted goods, and the amount will be taken from the amount they are refunded. The move by the retailer, which was initially reported by the Retail Week website, took effect on July 4, 2022.
The fee is deducted from each return delivery, not each item. If shoppers make returns from the same order on several occasions, they will be deducted each time. Other high street retailers including Uniglo and Next already make deductions for returns, while Zara said earlier this year that it was launching a £1.95 fee for online returns.
Asos said in June that it was encountering a “significant increase” in returns from shoppers, resulting in its most recent profit warning. Fast fashion retailers only sell their products online, meaning customers are inclined to purchase a range of different products and sizes to fit at home, before settling on which ones to keep.
Since online shopping peaked during the pandemic, this has gradually become a problem for retailers, who have to process the wave of unwanted items. Up to half of the clothing purchased online is sent back to some retailers, with the entire operation expected to cost businesses around £7bn a year, according to a 2020 study by the consultancy KPMG.
Boohoo Warned Of Turbulent Times Ahead
Boohoo – which owns brands including Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Debenhams, and Wallis – warned in May it was likely to bump up its clothing prices this year as it was pushed to cut its sales and profit expectations and said that its customers were sending back more unwanted items.Buy Crypto Now
The percentage of items sent back to brands by online shoppers declined in the early days of the pandemic when shoppers bought more stretch loungewear and clothing, where obtaining a good fit was less necessary.
However, with the resurgence of social events such as weddings, and more office work, more structured clothing has become in demand again, and consumers have returned more garments that they did not like or which did not fit.