Goodbye jack o’lanterns and Halloween candy; hello holiday shopping season! November 1 marked the official start of the holidays: that special time of year when retailers hope to incentivize shoppers to spend, spend, spend. Though Thanksgiving weekend is when the bulk of shopping is done, decisions about where consumers will shop and what they’ll buy are largely determined now (per Deloitte).

While consumers are busy deciding what to buy now (my mom has asked what to buy her grandkids at least three times already), industry insiders are debating the following:

  • Will Black Friday compete with Cyber Monday?
  • Will brick and mortar retailers struggle with low foot traffic?
  • Will Cyber Monday break online spending records like last year?
  • Will early, late and month-long promotions contribute to a lackluster Thanksgiving shopping weekend?
  • Will desktop drum kits make a comeback this year?

That last one was kind of a joke. The point is, this season is going to be an interesting one.

Here at B-Stock we know that the holiday season signals not only an increase in sales, but it also means an increase in returns. Last year holiday returns were up 18% over the previous year with around $70 billion worth of merchandise brought or sent back (overall returns were up 8% yoy). The growth of ecommerce is a major factor: 47% of all people who shop online have returned merchandise for exchange or refund. Liberal return policies also play a role (although, side note, these policies drive customer loyalty: for example, last year 48% of online shoppers who shipped back returns also made new purchases).  

When you consider one in three holiday purchases is returned, it’s essential that retailers account for and have a plan in place for the flow of inventory coming back. This includes inventory that can’t go back on store shelves and is slated for liquidation.

At B-Stock, we use technology, data and analytics to provide the best liquidation solutions for our clients, post holiday and all year round. This includes access to a massive network of business buyers who are interested in inventory across all categories (even overstock Christmas trees and ornaments!). Nine of the top 10 U.S. retailers among hundreds of others are leveraging our online marketplace platform to sell their liquidation inventory at higher pricing than traditional methods—even when there is an influx of merchandise post-holiday.

Take a look at our current auctions for more info. And keep checking back to our Blog for the latest updates—on return trends and more—as the holiday season unfolds.

Holiday returns are on the horizon, learn how to better tackle them by watching our webinar.
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