For the first time, gift returns to spike before Christmas
NEW YORK — The gifts under the tree haven’t been opened yet, but people are already returning some of their holiday hauls.
Delivery company UPS said that it expects its busiest return day to occur before Christmas for the first time. The company said Wednesday there are many reasons for the pre-Christmas return boom, including more people buying stuff for themselves that they want to send back.
UPS said it expected to handle 1.5 million returns on Wednesday, and it predicts another spike on Jan. 3, when it anticipates it will handle 1.3 million returned packages. Kathleen Marran, vice president of marketing at UPS, said its busiest return day has crept up earlier and earlier in the past six years as retailers offer their holiday deals weeks before Thanksgiving, giving shoppers more time to change their mind. UPS said it used historical data and information from retailers to come up with its figures.
Retailers have also made it easier for shoppers to return goods. Walmart and Target have been adding special areas in stores to make online returns quicker, and Amazon has opened shops inside Kohl’s department stores where returns can be dropped off.
Other reasons for earlier returns: Hanukkah fell in early December this year and more people are using rental clothing companies for holiday party outfits that they need to send back, said Marran.