Big box stores brace for high volume of holiday returns

Photo of a man shopping in Target. (Provided Photo/AP)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – More than one in 10 holiday gifts will go right back to the store this season, that’s according to the National Retail Federation.

Many big box stores are preparing for the surge by implementing new return policies making it easier and safer for customers to return their Christmas gifts.

Target is expanding returns to their checkout lanes to avoid overcrowding at Guest Services and is also expanding return windows on electronics to make up for earlier shopping trends during the pandemic.

The big box retailer says they will continue to clean down items like board games for example and hold soft items in the back for 24 hours before returning them to the shelves.

Both Target and Walmart are offering new return options to their customers in terms of free return shipping.

Target customers can drop off items at UPS and FedEx locations while Walmart customers can now return items without having to leave their homes through a new service called “Carrier Pickup by FedEx.”

Walmart announced a new partnership with FedEx for items shipped and sold by Walmart to be picked up from a customer’s home after a return has been started online.

Walmart has also said they will be opening additional return areas within the store to help with social distancing.

Return policies vary between national retailers so customers should check directly with the store to see what new policies have been introduced during the pandemic.