After the winter holidays have passed, the wrapping paper and bows are in the trash and the boxes have been torn open, some people find they aren't as thrilled with their gifts as they may have first thought. Perhaps a shirt doesn't fit or someone received a duplicate item - whatever the reason, merchandise returns are common during the end of December and beginning of January.
This can present another hectic time for retailers - following the holiday rush, they have to contend with returns. How can store leaders prepare for this onslaught after the season is over?January 3 is the target date
Many retail experts see January 3 as being the day where most unwanted gifts are returned. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, UPS says that January 3 is known to the industry as Returns Day
, because it has the highest volume of send backs, though many merchants see this trend during the first week of the new year as well.
The magazine said planning for this event in advance can greatly benefit companies. The news source recommended using last year's pattern as a guide, because this type of trend usually doesn't change much year-over-year. Because returns are usually sent through the mail on January 3, the store can expect to see the items and begin processing them three to five days after that.
Moreover, it's important that during this harried time all employees should know the return policy and tasks needed to account for buybacks, Entrepreneur explained. Unpacking items, checking them for damage, then entering them into the system is usually required.Many retailers to see returns
This situation isn't central to just a few companies. Randy Allen, the associate dean at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, told the Wall Street Journal that between 10 and 15 percent of all items bought during the holiday season are returned or exchanged. Moreover, Allen said that 70 percent of these goods are either totally refunded or switched
for a new item, while the remaining 30 percent are simply swapped for a new color, size or other element.Automate the process
There are many things that go into returning gifts. Not only does inventory need to be updated and the shelves restocked, but the income of the business is affected - what was once purchased was given back, requiring the company to return the cash.
Many owners find that using accounting software can help greatly during this time - automating the process which credits the business' income and gives money or store credit back to the consumer can make it much easier.