Zara begins charging customers for online returns
Inditex's Zara has started charging for online returns as of the beginning of May 2022.
From now on customers who purchased Zara items online will have to pay a £1.95 fee that will be deducted from their refund. Zara further specified that customers will have 30 days to return items and that they cannot return separate orders in the same box.
Purchases that were made in store can still be returned free of charge if they are returned to a store in the same region.
The move will likely be closely watched by competitors, who may also be considering the possibility of charging customers for online returns.
Fast-fashion retailer Boohoo recently reported that soaring return rates had impacted their profits for the 12 months to the end of February. It revealed that return rates have been so high in the past three months that this has led to sales falling compared with a year ago.
Pippa Stephens, retail analyst at GlobalData commented on ASOS' results six months to 28 February 2022, noting that the company had seen increasing return rates in H1 and into H2.
"This is due to consumers opting for more fashion-led items, rather than the loungewear they primarily purchased during the lockdowns, while cancelled Christmas parties also drove an influx of partywear returns. To help bring returns rates down, ASOS should display products on more varied body shapes, either by shooting images on multiple models, or by making use of AR technology."