New Look launches returns fee trial
With retail costs escalating, New Look has joined a growing number of major retailers in charging customers returning online orders by post.
In a trial run, the high street retailer has introduced a £1.99 fee but customers can continue to return their online purchases to New Look stores for free.
It follows similar moves from fellow high street chain Zara and digital retailer Boohoo that both introduced return fees for customers last year.
Inditex-owned Zara started charging for online purchased postal returns in May 2022, introducing a £1.95 fee to return clothes, with the cost taken from items refunded. Boohoo started to charge shoppers for returns last July, and customers must now pay £1.99 to return products, with the cost deducted from their refund.
A New Look spokeswoman said the decision to trial a fee for postal returns was “line with the wider industry, and reflects increased costs related to delivery and collection.
The cost of returns is a major burden for fashion retailers. It was a bearable one during the pandemic as online shopping boomed and consumers bought comfortable wear-at-home clothes (like loungewear) that they were less likely to return. But a move back to more 'normal' dressing (such as suits and dresses that need to fit perfectly) has seen returns rates surging, creating a big headache for e-tailers.
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