Retail returns increase as Brits regret lockdown purchases

Royal Mail return COVID-19 lockdown
Many retailers extended return periods during lockdown
// Retail returns increase by 25% in July
// Consumers made unwanted purchases during the Covid-19 lockdown

New research has found that the level of retail returns increased by 25 per cent in July, compared to the same month last year as shoppers sent back unwanted purchases made during lockdown.

UK postal service Royal Mail found said the top five areas that saw the most returns were St Albans, Watford, Kingston-upon-Thames, Ilford and south west London.

When split into countries, Edinburgh comes out top in the Scotland list and Cardiff takes first place in Wales.


Many retailers extended return periods during lockdown, giving consumers more time to make a decision on their purchases.

Others have continued to seal off their fitting rooms due to restrictions.

The findings are based on analysis of Tracked Returns 48 items accepted into the Royal Mail network in an average week in the time period between June 29 to August 2, 2020.

“Having analysed our returns data across our national network of delivery offices, St Albans has emerged as the UK’s returns hotspot,” Royal Mail chief commercial officer Nick Landon said.

“With ecommerce playing an important role in keeping the UK connected during such unprecedented times, online returns form an even more important part of the online shopping experience for both consumers and retailers.”

Moreover, Royal Mail also found that 53 per cent of Brits felt that receiving parcels became more important during lockdown, while 36 per cent said receiving a parcel was the highlight of their day.

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