Return of the fees: How retailers can reduce high return rates

After years of free and easy return policies, retailers are working to reduce rampant return rates. Nearly half now charge fees to offset rising costs. Popular brands like H&M, Zara, and DSW, among others, are opting to add fees to combat environmental, freight, labor and packaging costs associated with product returns.
But are these punitive fees the best solution? While itโ€™s true that returns pose many problems โ€” from financial burdens on retailers to frustrated customers โ€” the root of the issue lies in excessive returns flooding the system in the first place. Before passing return costs to shoppers through fees, retailers should focus on reducing returns at the source by more accurately matching inventory to demand.

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