Retail Dive: Zara Makes Significant Changes to its Returns Policy
Zara has recently revamped its customer returns policy, charging returns for online purchases in a bid to slash the cost of shoppers who over-order with no intention of keeping all of the goods. A £1.95 charge will be deducted from the refund amount when customers return items at third-party drop-off points. However, customers are still able to return online purchases at any Zara store free of charge. Zara is rolling out this change on a market-by-market basis, kickstarting the new return system in the European markets like Belgium, Netherlands and UK.
The chain is the latest to implement a charge for returns, following rival fashion chains like Next and Uniqlo, who both charge for courier and third-party drop-off returns, although items can be either refunded (Next) or exchanged (Uniqlo) for free in-store. Given the supply chain pressures in the e-commerce space today, retailers continue to navigate through the high return rates and thinner margins.
“Zara recognizes that the costs have gotten enormous. If you’re shipping three garments for a person, and they’re only expecting to buy one, that’s a 66% return rate. So that’s the nightmare of the apparel industry. And I applaud them. Somebody had to do this”,stated Tony Sciarrotta, executive director of The Reverse Logistics Association.