Retailers brace for flood of returns from online shopping

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A customer is shown at the exchanges and return counter in a Target department store early Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, in Glendale, Colo. Shoppers, who can’t touch or feel products they’re ordering, are expected to return items during the holiday season at a rate double from last year, costing retailers roughly $1.1 billion, according to Narvar Inc., a software and technology company that manages online returns for hundreds of brands. That puts retailers in a conundrum: they don’t want the returns, but they also want to make shoppers feel comfortable to freely buy without worry. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

NEW YORK (AP) — A huge surge in online shopping during the pandemic has been a savior for retailers, but it comes at a price.

Shoppers are expected to return twice as many items as they did during last year’s holiday period, costing companies roughly $1.1 billion. That’s according to Narvar Inc., a software and technology company that manages online returns for hundreds of brands.

Retailers don’t want the returns, but they do want shoppers who may not feel safe going to stores to be comfortable buying things they haven’t seen or tried on in person.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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