Retailers see escalated gift returns after Christmas

TRI-CITIES, TN/VA (WJHL)- With the season of giving wrapping up … the season of returning is just getting started.

Local retailers tell us they’ve been flooded with gift returns after the Christmas holiday.return2

Scott Zani is a team leader for logistics at the Target in Johnson City. He said, “it’s been really busy, but it’s a lot of fun as well.” Zani said, “The team is really happy and you’re really excited so it’s just a great time.”

Zani told us there are a few reasons that are drawing the masses to stores, right now, even after the big holiday. Zani said, “We have some great after-Christmas sales.”

So, in addition to some great price-slashing deals, consumers are making a mad dash to the stores this weekend for one more thing. “We had quite a few guests waiting on Saturday for us to open up to do a few returns,” Zani said.

Aaron Lindsey said he is not the best shopper when it comes to deciding on gifts. Lindsey said, “Usually about half of the items that I pick out get returned … and I’m okay with that.”

According to a survey from the National Retail Federation, retailers estimate that the total annual returns will reach over $260 billion. That’s roughly 8 percent of total retail sales.

Zani agreed, “I don’t know the exact number but [returns] are quite a bit higher” than what’s normally returned throughout the rest of the year.

Lindsey admits that he, himself, is no stranger to returning items. Lindsey said, “A lot of times, I’m wrong on Christmas gifts … so, I make sure I hold onto receipts as much as I can.”

Retail workers, like Zani, recommend keeping the item’s receipt and it’s original packaging, in order to make returns as simple as possible.

Zani said Target has prepared for returns season. Zani said, “We try to make the returns process as quick and easy as possible, so we added extra cashiers up at guest services to accommodate the extra returns.”

Lindsey said returns are a common practice for him after Christmas, but added that he tries not to worry if someone doesn’t like what he chose for them. He said, “You do the best you can picking out Christmas items, but you’re not always going to be right on the money.”

“I would rather somebody tell me that they don’t like [the gift] and go out and get something that they want rather than be stuck with something that they don’t like,” Lindsey said.

Remember to grab the gift receipt or the credit/debit card that the item was purchased with. Stores are advising consumers to educate themselves on the store’s return policies.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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