Boohoo starts charging shoppers £1.99 for returns

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·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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A woman poses with a smartphone showing the Boohoo app in front of the Boohoo logo on display in this illustration taken September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Fashion firm Boohoo has become the latest retailer to charge shoppers who return items. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Boohoo (BOO.L) customers must now pay £1.99 to return products, with the online fashion brand blaming the move on the rising cost of shipping.

The online-only retailer is following in the footsteps of other brands including Uniqlo, Next and Zara who already charge people for returning products.

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Boohoo customers will be charged £1.99 per parcel, with the cost being deducted from their refund. There is the option to have free returns if you are a "premier customer, according to the brand’s website.

It adds: "Unfortunately we don't offer an exchange facility. Simply return your item(s) and reorder for a replacement. Your refund will be processed once we've received your unwanted items."

Fast fashion retailers often only sell their products online, meaning that customers buy a range of different products and sizes to try on at home, before deciding which ones to keep.

Without any bricks and mortar stores in the UK, Boohoo customers have no choice but to pay £1.99 if the clothes do not fit.

Earlier this year, Boohoo said that customers had returned items faster than expected in the second half of the year, even quicker that at the start of the pandemic.

Up to half of clothing bought online is returned to some retailers, with the whole operation estimated to cost businesses about £7bn a year, according to a study by the consultancy KPMG.

Boohoo's move was first reported by Retail Week and came into effect on July 4.

A Boohoo spokesperson said: "As the cost of shipping has increased, we’ve had to look at where we can adapt without compromising what our customers love most, the convenience of shopping with us and the great value that our brands offer.

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"This has meant that we will be applying a charge of £1.99 to returns so that we can continue to offer great prices and products and do this in a more sustainable way."

Boohoo's brands include BoohooMan, Karen Millen, Nasty Gal, PrettyLittleThing, Coast, Misspap, Oasis, Warehouse, Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Debenhams.

Watch: Boohoo cuts hundreds of suppliers to fashion new future after factory scandal

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