ReBOUND – formal fashion returns hit new highs

Returns platform ReBOUND says fashion retailers that have seen a surge in returns with the rapidly spreading Omicron Covid-19 variant. Fear of the virus has led to people cancelling social events and returning clothes bought to attend them.

In the last three weeks the online fashion sector has seen a surge in returns of 48.4% above the three weeks before. It has seen a 64% rise in the volume of online returns this year as compared to 2020.

In the first week of December when ‘Plan B’ was first mooted, the rate of returns of formal wear hit 51%. This segment has continued to see returns surge. This is now 40% higher than the same period last year.

E-commerce fashion return rates are consistently higher than those on the high street, and with the online shopping boom, retailers continue to see high rates of returns as part of the online shopping experience. With the new wave of the pandemic, fashion wear for socialising is set to take a hit.

Graham Best, ReBOUND CEO, said: “Cancelled Christmas parties and concerns about the Omicron variant has driven fashion returns sky high as shoppers send back clothing they’ll no longer be wearing out. Traditionally we see a rise in fashion returns at this time of year thanks to post-Black Friday buyers’ remorse but this is far beyond usual levels, particularly for formal wear purchases. The pandemic is clearly far from over and there could still be further ramifications for retail on the horizon that could impact how shoppers buy or return. Retailers should be getting out in front and ensuring their returns processes are data-driven in order to prepare and manage any sudden influx of returned items.”

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