According to delivery firm ParcelHero, post-Christmas returns this year amounted to over £1.4 billion worth of goods being sent back to retailers. Although there was a slight decrease in returns compared to the previous year, the figures still highlight the significant number of unwanted gifts and goods being returned. On “Takeback Tuesday,” which is typically the busiest day for returns, the company reported a decrease of around 6% compared to the same day in 2023.

Despite a recent prediction by Royal Mail of a 52% increase in returns of unwanted and ill-fitting Christmas presents purchased online, the figures from ParcelHero suggest a different perspective. ParcelHero suggests that lower festive sales may have contributed to the decrease in returns, while Royal Mail’s predictions indicate that a substantial number of December purchases are being sent back to sellers regardless of sales levels.

David Jinks, Head of Consumer Research at ParcelHero, explains that the decline in returns is likely a result of lower Christmas spending rather than a change in customer behavior. He believes that the decrease may be attributed to a lackluster Christmas period for retailers, where both online and in-store sales were relatively flat. Jinks also considers the possibility that consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact and financial strain of returns, particularly on smaller, specialized retailers. However, he ultimately concludes that the decline in returns is likely due to fewer gifts being given, resulting in fewer items being returned.

This decrease in post-Christmas returns emphasizes the importance for retailers to prioritize sales and customer satisfaction during the holiday season. By offering high-quality products and services, retailers may be able to minimize return rates and enhance customer loyalty. Furthermore, raising awareness about the environmental impact and financial burdens of returns can encourage consumers to be more mindful of their purchasing decisions. Striking a balance between generating sales and reducing returns is essential for the long-term success of retailers in an ever-changing retail landscape.

For more information on the topic, please visit:
1. Retail Gazette: Post-Christmas Returns Cost Retailers Billions
2. BBC: Post-Christmas returns could hit new high in UK