Stores ready for mass post-Christmas gift returns

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 5:22 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Now that all the gifts are unwrapped, millions are heading back to stores to return them. It’s estimated that 25 percent of online purchases will be sent back. The percentage for in-store purchases isn’t as high, but stores are getting ready for the mass gift returns that follow the holidays.

Shoppers at Towne West mall are doing their post-Christmas shopping, which includes those returns. One shopper, Brad Russell, appreciates the option to return or exchange.

“It’s important to have the flexibility to be able to return,” Russell said. “Because people don’t always get what they thought they were going to get, or whoever gave it to them said, ‘If you want to return it, that’s OK.’”

For some, returning gifts isn’t an option.

“I don’t think you should return it, I think you should appreciate the gift,” one shopper said.

Another shopper, Breanna, said feelings of the giver must be considered.

“It would just be disrespectful,” she said. “Someone went out of their time and day to get something.”

One big issue during the holidays is the influx of gift returns, especially online, where one in four gifts are returned. A return warehouse in Tennessee is one of many companies handling those returns. Most of them will never end up in the store from which they were purchased. Even jewelry stores, like Zales, are receiving returns.

“Normally, first Monday after Christmas is going to be a lot of returns,” Zales assistant manager Nathen Ball said. “...They come back for sizings and all kinds of stuff then.”

Ball said the most popular Christmas gift returns are earrings and necklaces. He said no engagement rings have been returned so far.

“I have a couple who are ... going to do the engagement for Christmas,” Ball said. “We’ll see if they end up coming back, but more than likely not.”

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