The clothing company Zara, recently decided to charge a fee of £ 1.95 (US $ 2.03) for customers seeking to return clothing purchased through the online store.
The return fee is deducted from the total return from the order returned through the drop-off point. Since buyers have 30 days to return items, separate orders cannot be returned in the same box.
Meanwhile, some customers have taken to social media to complain about the new policy on the High Street label, with many criticizing the company for not officially announcing the change.
He also mentioned that the inconsistencies in Zara’s sizing meant that many people bought multiple sizes online to try on clothes at home and return those that didn’t fit.
However, some people believe that charging a fee for returning clothes could end the ‘hall culture’ where people buy a number of items online and show followers online before returning most or all of them.
Jonathan De Mello, founder, and CEO of retail consultancy JDM Retail said, “Zara following Next and Uniqlo in charging for online returns – and more retailers will likely follow suit. It’s inevitable really, given the cost of processing online returns – not to mention the environmental impact. Good for stores too, as returns will still be free in-store.”
On the other hand, Pippa Stephens, a retail analyst at GlobalData, said, “The fashion industry has seen returns rates rising in recent months. This is due to consumers opting for more fashion-led items rather than the loungewear they primarily purchased during the lockdowns.”
Actually in a shop return policy can be processed quickly, and physically put back on a rail ready for re-sale, it’s a very different picture online. Items need to be returned via a courier, sent to a warehouse, unpacked, cleaned, and then put out for re-sale, and that process is not just more expensive, but means clothes in particular may have missed their season.
There’s an environmental impact of delivery vehicles making returns which many shoppers are becoming more conscious of, but pandemic habits of shopping and returning directly from your home will be hard to break without a financial hit for the customers.
Also, the cancellation of Christmas parties last December, triggered by the new wave of Covid-19 cases, drove an influx of party wear returns.
Zara are hoping to strike the balance with a return price that puts the customers off a return without putting them off a purchase.