4 January 2018 - Janet Bird
Retailers and delivery services were braced to deal with a deluge of returns in the first week of 2018, as life slowly returns to normal after the Christmas and New Year break.
Numbers were expected to peak on January 2 - dubbed 'Takeback Tuesday' - the first working day of 2018.
A study by Royal Mail suggested the number of returns on Tuesday would be at least double that of an average day in December.
Clothing was expected to be the single largest category of goods returned, accounting for 75 percent of unwanted presents being brought back for a refund. Dresses were predicted to be the most returned item of clothing at 37 percent, followed by trousers, jeans and crop tops at 22 percent.
Footwear was expected to account for 38 percent of returns, followed by electrical goods (37 percent).
Royal Mail said its research showed 47 percent of customers would not shop with a retailer again if it did not offer free returns for online purchases, making it incredibly important for retailers to ensure they offered a returns experience that was in line with consumers' expectations.