Despite Black Friday sales exceeding expectations, retailers have been brought back down to Earth with a tidal-wave of returns across November, according to ReBound.
The returns specialist, which works with the likes of Asos, River Island and Crocs, found November 2022 returns were 26.6% higher than November 2021. Its data highlighted that numbers hit 2021 total returns for the entirety of November by Black Friday [25 November].
Furthermore, on Cyber Monday returns were already 8.4% higher by lunchtime than in 2021.
“It goes without saying that spikes in returns always follow sales periods, as impulse purchasing on a good deal leads to buyer’s remorse. But, the initial results from the Black Friday weekend shows that 2022 is likely to be a record returns’ year,” said Laura Garrett, returns expert at ReBound, a Reconomy Group company.
“Even retailers that learnt from last year and prepared as much as possible for this year, could still be facing volumes beyond what they planned for.
“Despite retailers spreading sales across the month to avoid the logistical nightmare of a one-day spike, the volume of returns in November will pile extra pressure on retailers who have to turn products around in time for Christmas.
“Against a backdrop of strikes by Royal Mail, retailers are likely to be feeling the pressure. Consumers are also feeling the pressure. The cost-of-living crisis is clearly playing a part in this increased volume, as the impact of energy bills soaring in October and mortgage rates rocketing have buyers’ thinking twice about their purchasing choices.
“In a couple of weeks, we’ll see a fuller picture of what this Black Friday looked like, against 2021 but it’s clear from this snapshot that returns volumes are only going up.”