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Returns jump in July as Brits send back hasty lockdown purchases

By Huw Hughes


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The Royal Mail has seen a 25 percent year-on-year increase in the amount of returns made in July as Brits sent back items they splashed out on during lockdown.

When breaking it down by areas in the UK making the most returns, St Albans tops the list, followed by Watford, Kingston-upon-Thames, Ilford and South West London. By country, capitals Edinburgh in Scotland and Cardiff in Wales take first place.

Many retailers extended return periods during lockdown, giving shoppers more time to try on or test their items, and allowing those making hasty decisions to reconsider their picks and giving them more time, according to The Royal Mail.

The report also revealed the emotional importance of receiving gifts during the physically disconnected period of lockdown. More than half (53 percent) of UK adults felt that receiving parcels had become more important since lockdown, while over a third (36 percent) said receiving a parcel was the highlight of their day.

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said in the report: “Having analysed our returns data across our national network of delivery offices, St Albans has emerged as the UK’s returns hotspot. With ecommerce playing an important role in keeping the UK connected during such unprecedented times, online returns form an even more important part of the online shopping experience for both consumers and retailers.”

The findings of Royal Mail’s data was based on analysis of Tracked Returns 48 items accepted into the Royal Mail network in an average week in the time period between 29 June and 2 August.

Photo credit: Royal Mail website

Royal Mail