It’s a brand new world we’re all living in. The mix of record gas prices, coupled with the tangled mess that is the supply chain crisis and rising inflation, has big retailers thinking long and hard about what they should do if they have items to return.
Some of the big boys, including Walmart, Gap, American Eagle, and Target, are all complaining about having too much inventory in certain categories, especially jackets and hoodies, garden furniture, toys, and workout clothes. What that means is that; instead of returning items buyers don’t want, these retailers are considering telling them to just keep them.
Adding more items to the stores would only add to their inventory woes. So these big-box retailers are close to telling customers they will give the money back, but they don’t want the items.
It takes a lot of man hours to process a return. On top of the customer service proc endure, the retailer has to evaluate the item, and if it’s in good enough condition, return it to the shelves at a lower cost.
Often they will farm out the products to liquidators who sell them at discount stores.
Burt Flickinger is a retail expert who told CNN that taking the item back doesn’t make monetary sense in many cases.
“For every dollar in sales, a retailer’s net profit is between a cent to five cents. With returns, for every dollar in returned merchandise, it costs a retailer between 15 cents to 30 cents to handle it.”