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Retailers brace for record-breaking number of returns this season

Increase in online shopping causing returns rush
Posted at 5:15 PM, Dec 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 20:43:21-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — With the increase of online shopping, experts predict that retailers will make a record-breaking number of return transactions this year.

December 26 is the official start of the "returns and exchanges" season.

Grab a cart. It's back to the store. David Warren's sofa just didn't look right. So he was back at the Target store in Kearny Mesa Saturday afternoon.

"I'm just returning these pillows and shirts," Warren said. "I'm going to swap them out for something smaller."

Fernando Delacruz and his wife bought themselves bicycles to kick start a healthy New Year's resolution.

"I figured I'm going to need a bike so I can exercise," Delacruz said. "And then my wife said, 'Oh that's a cool Christmas gift for me too!'"

The couple bought their bikes at Delacruz's fit perfectly, but his wife's did not.

"When she tried it on, it was kind of a little big for her," Delacruz said. "So we have to return it."

The pandemic has caused a surge in online shoppers, a saving grace for retailers. But not being able to touch and feel the products means there have been a record-setting number of returns. Experts say returns will cost companies more than $1 billion this holiday season. But retailers have managed to make the return process much easier, many places not even requiring receipts.

"We do have a Target card, and they can trace it from there, so we didn't have to worry about that," Delacruz said.

Delacruz says now they are at the store to return what didn't fit and replace it with one that does.

"We're probably going to look for another bike today," Delacruz said.

According to the 2020 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey, 45% of shoppers prefer the "buy online, return in-store or curbside" service.