Some retailers are offering safe new ways to return those unwanted Christmas gifts amid pandemic


NEW YORK, NY (WHTM) — Christmas may be over but the rush to return unwanted gifts is only just beginning. The National Retail Federation estimates one in 10 gifts will go back right on the shelf.

But returns are different this year given the pandemic.

“Either you get stuck with whatever you bought, or you put on your mask, and you go and return it.”

To help eliminate exposure in stores, some retailers are providing return labels, so items can be shipped back via FedEx and UPS. Even if they were purchased in-store.

Other stores are offering curbside return parking spots. Customers can park, call, and read the receipt info.

Despite the pandemic, retail sales rose 2.4% between November first and Christmas Eve compared to last year.

But overwhelmingly, shoppers were buying from home. Online sales grew 47.2% and shoppers spent an estimated $184 billion online this holiday season.

If you’re planning to head out to return gifts, you won’t be alone. 

The National Retail Federation says about 66% of shoppers will head back to stores this week. Concerning numbers as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in many places.


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