skip to Main Content

Retail Returns Are Flat in 2022

As retail sales continued to grow, the average rate of returned purchases remained flat at 16.5% in 2022 compared with 16.6% in 2021.

This was reported by the National Retail Federation in conjunction with Appriss Retail, a retail returns consultant and solutions provider.

“Even with 29 continuous months of retail sales growth, consumers have remained steady with the overall rate of merchandise returned to retailers this year,” said Mark Mathews, NRF’s vice president of research development and industry analysis.

“While oftentimes returns represent a lost sale for a retail establishment, returns can also provide recourse through positive customer engagement and, potentially, another purchase.”

According to the survey, for every $1 billion in sales, the average retailer incurs $165 million in merchandise returns. It also found that for every $100 in returned merchandise accepted, retailers lose $10.40 to return fraud.

Among the types of return fraud retailers said they have had to deal with in the past year, half (50%) cited returns of used, non-defective merchandise, also known as wardrobing, and 41.4% cited the return of shoplifted or stolen merchandise.

One-fifth (20%) of those surveyed also said they attributed return fraud to organized retail crime.

For the first time since online data has been captured as part of the survey in 2019, online return rates are consistent with the overall rate of returns. Online return rates decreased from 20.8% in 2021 to 16.5% in 2022. NRF said online sales will account for approximately $1.29 trillion of total U.S. retail sales in 2022. Of the approximately $212 billion of returned online purchases, $22.8 billion (10.7%) will be deemed to be fraudulent.

Of the more than $3.66 trillion in expected in-store sales, $603 billion will be returned. Approximately $62.1 billion of those returns – 10.3% — are expected to have been fraudulent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top