Zara begins charging for returns of clothes ‘on line’ in some countries

The charge for returns opens a new stage for online trading in the industry of fashion. Inditexwith your brand Zara in front, has decided to put limits on the indentation returns. The fashion distribution group has established a price in 30 markets for home returns or a collection point. Inditex charges €1.95 per return, which are deducted from the amount paid. The figure is considered assumable, despite the fact that the context of international inflation announces generalized price increases in the company’s banners, which are suspected to exceed the 7% average announced in the last presentation of the company’s results. Galician multinational. For the moment, Spain is left out of this decision, although consumers are increasingly tending to hoard product with the idea of ​​sometimes returning up to more than half of what was purchased. This trend is not slowing down and will force collection, most experts believe.

Zara sources framed the measure as a complement to the group’s environmental strategies, although they specified that “most of the returns are currently made in the store and do not entail any cost for customers.”

One of the latest countries where the return charge has been implemented at Zara is the United Kingdom, which has the highest online penetration rate in Europe. Also in Germany, where return rates are high. Returns made in the store, which are already the majority, are exempt. The return that is made by mail is a minority. It would seem that the plague of returns is more pronounced in countries with bad weather and that the phenomenon is aggravated in the colder months, in which the average purchase receipt is higher. The competition of the textile derived from digital native firms such as Shein exacerbates the need to take measures in the face of a consumption habit that can cause the cost structure of internet sales to be affected.

Free returns have always been a major selling point for businesses. El Corte Inglés is an obligatory reference in traditional commerce, but in the case of electronic commerce it has been a basic element in revitalizing activity and differentiating the business from the competition.

reverse logistics

the so-called reverse logistics It is a headache for all firms that approach omnichannel with ambition. The difference between achieving benefits or red numbers of care, recognize all firms. In addition, any strategy adorned with the environmental adjective can be counteracted with a high number of returns. The decision to buy recycled fabrics is worthless if the weight of returns increases. And if returns increase, it is because the product does not satisfy the customer and complicates stock management.

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Inditex is not the only one that has made the decision to start charging for returns. Zalando, an aggregator of textile brands, was a pioneer in 2019 in offering free returns but in a limited period of time. Other relevant firms such as Mango recognize returns as an ordeal problem, but calibrate the risks of putting a brake on online expansion, which is strategic. Uniqlo also began charging a fee on returns last March, which for now does not apply in Spain either. In some countries, the return of a product by post can cost eight euros.

In 2021, Inditex generated 25.5% of its turnover through the online channel, in line with the target. Mango has announced a commercial offensive in the US that aims for online sales to account for up to 70% of total sales. The percentage of 30% is the most common in the fashion sector, although the profit generated by internet sales tends to be much lower than that of physical stores. Street stores continue to be a basic bastion of the chains.

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