A holiday hangover, buyer’s remorse or impulse buying gone bad—no matter what you call it, around 10 to 15 percent of merchandise, once purchased/gifted/unwrapped, will be heading back to Canadian retailers and manufacturers this holiday season. Holiday sales can account for as much as 30 percent of total annual revenue for most retailers. But on the heels of the biggest shopping season of the year—which runs from the end of October through Boxing Day— comes a rush of returned merchandise that will end up significantly cutting into the bottom line (while simultaneously putting a damper on your holiday cheer). This season, in particular, will bring higher return rates as more consumers than ever are expected to shop online (e-commerce return rates are almost double that of bricks and mortar stores). Heightened consumer expectations of relaxed cross-channel returned policies and gift-recipient dislike will also play a role in the reason for return.

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