Breaking News
More () »

2021 could set a record for Christmas gift returns. Here's why

Every year, retailers prepare for a wave of returned gifts. But industry experts say this year could set a new record for unwanted gifts being sent back.

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. 

Click here to sign up for the daily Wake Up Charlotte newsletter

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. 

Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte 
SUBSCRIBEApple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts  

All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out