In an effort to drive customer loyalty, retailers are stepping up their game when it comes to the ease of returning items: special ‘returns’ entrances, pop up kiosks at the mall for items purchased online, year-long deadlines, third-party apps, and label-free returns are among the options. But a happy return for the customer is a logistical nightmare for the retailer, and one that’s costing billions of dollars in efficiency: in 2017 the value of retail returns amounted to around $400 billion; that’s a 53 percent increase from 2015.

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