“Serial returners” have caused losses in the retail industry worth £7 billion and has created a phantom economy for online retailers.
According to new research from Barclaycard, 25 per cent of retailers have experienced an increase in return rates over the past two years, while 40 per cent of fashion brands reported a rise in refunds.
In a survey of 2000 people, the card specialist found that the average British shopper spend £313 on online shopping each year but will return just under half of this.
A major factor in the rise in returns is thought to be the disparity between sizes at different brands, with 40 per cent of shoppers citing poorly fitting clothes as the reason for returning.
Retailers are being forced to absorb the costs of this rise in returns, seeing free returns as a major driver of customer satisfaction despite it resulting in a loss.
To compensate many retailers are having to raise the price of their goods, and Barclaycard’s Konrad Kelling says a failure to properly address the issue will “be another problem that adds to the woes some high street retailers currently face.”