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UK fashion retailers face 360 million pounds of Christmas returns

By Huw Hughes

2 Feb 2021

UK fashion retailers face 360 million pounds worth of Christmas 2020 clothing and footwear returns, according to new research.

For 2020 as a whole, a year which saw soaring e-commerce sales as companies faced prolonged store closures, apparel retailers face 4.3 billion pounds worth of returns.

The proportion of online clothing and footwear sales rose to 36 percent in 2020, up from 22 percent in 2019, leading to a step-change in operational challenges.

That’s according to research from Retail Economics in partnership with Penningtons Manches Cooper reveals.

On average, shoppers return about 17 percent of the value of their online clothing and footwear purchases, which translates to around 2 billion pounds of returns on e-commerce sales of 11.4 billion pounds last year.

That’s significantly higher than a returns rate of less than 12 percent for store-bought items, which represents some 2.3 billion pounds of returns on store sales of 20.2 pounds last year.

This increase is largely linked to the difficulty of choosing the correct size online.

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