CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christmas has come and gone but the holiday shopping season is far from over as stores are preparing for one of the biggest return seasons ever.
So why are consumers returning a record number of items this year? Let's connect the dots.
Every year after Christmas, retailers brace for a wave of presents being sent back, but this year is different. Tech company OptoPro predicts that between Thanksgiving and January, $120 billion in goods will be returned.
Shopping habits change
The way we shop changed during the pandemic. Fitting rooms have largely become a thing of the past, which means no one is trying on clothes before they buy.
As a result, people now buy multiple sizes of the same item and return the ones that don't fit.
Supply chain issues
Ongoing supply chain issues have left many sizes out of stock, too. Experts say shoppers snatched up any size they could get their hands on this year out of fear that their gifts wouldn't arrive in time for Christmas.
Returns take longer, cost more
So what if you got a sweater that's three sizes too big? Experts say mailing your returns could take more time, and even cost more. Instead, they recommend bringing returns directly to the store for a fast refund or exchange.
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