The estimated $66.7 billion in holiday gifts that were rejected will return to retailers this year. This is a 30% increase over 2020.
- Some people have suggested that customers could be paid to donate goods to charity instead of returning them to their stores.
- Others are also trying out ‘boxless returns’, giving customers recyclable bags.
- One retailer tried to make delivery drivers wait at customers’ doors so they could take returns.
The return line after the holidays is the best place to see retailing at its most ecologically destructive.
It will consume more fuel to transport merchandise back to warehouses, rather than to speed it to consumers’ front doors. Additional packaging will be used, as well as employee time spent sorting and determining if goods are defective or damaged.
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