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Christmas Gift Returns Predicted to Spike This Week

02 January 2019 - 10:47 by Graham Miller

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The festivities are over for another year, and the UK is getting back to its usual routine, but the ghost of Christmas lingers on a little longer as a result of the big boost in returned goods.

Unwanted presents are always a feature of the festive season, whether purchased in-store or picked up via safe shopping online. Now predictions made by GlobalData suggest that the scale of the returns trend could be greater than ever, especially in light of the revamped pre-Christmas sales period.

At the top of the list of the gifts that people receive and then return are pyjamas; clearly, nightwear is something that most consumers have enough of already, thus making it unnecessary as well as unimaginative as a present.

Analysts also found that there are divisions between return habits that run along age and gender lines. Males will send back unwanted products in marginally higher numbers than females, while under-24s are far more return-oriented than those aged 55 and over.

Over a tenth of people who got a gift this Christmas will return at least one item, although experts are advising that in some cases it may be necessary to wait a little while for retailers to get their acts together and sort out the returns process.

The sheer volume of goods re-entering the system at this time of year will mean that it takes a while for some items to be dealt with and for refunds to be issued, especially if sending back a product purchased online.

In extreme cases, retailers may outlaw returns altogether until the peak period has passed, giving themselves that bit of extra time to get up to speed and sort out their infrastructures appropriately. Whatever the case, returning items seems easier for consumers than telling people exactly what they want for Christmas.