“I bought and returned seven pairs of trainers during lockdown,” says Kate from Sussex. “I often order the same thing in two different sizes or two different colors and then return what I don’t like or what doesn’t fit. I never thought I would buy clothes online when the internet first started offering this, but I’m now very happy to.”
Kate is just one of millions of shoppers who, spurred on by the closure of physical stores during months of pandemic lockdowns, now regularly buys and returns goods online.
Up to half of clothing bought online is returned, depending on the retailer. Shoppers sent back an estimated £6.3bn of online purchases, including clothing, in 2020 and that figure is expected to rise by 9% by 2025, according to analysts at GlobalData.
Since the Covid lockdowns ended, returns have shot up as more fitted items – especially dresses – have come