Zara Says It’s Time Its Home Market Pays for Online Returns
Inditex SA, the owner of the fashion block Zara, will now start charging Spanish shoppers to return products bought online. This mirrors the strategy it previously implemented in most of its other markets.
Customers in Spain will now have to pay €1.95 to return an order that they brought once. Zara said it was sorry if it wanted to return the product freely, requiring the customer to pick it up at a brick-and-mortar store or third-party drop-off point where the return is free otherwise, they need to pay.
This charge is applicable across all Inditex brands, including Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti, according to a company spokesperson.
The Spain-based firm A Coruña which is the biggest clothing chain in the world will start charging for returned products in the first half of 2022 in countries where it has less presence than Spain, including the UK, France, and the US.
By July 2022, the company is expected to get 14.2% of the accounts to share from Spain.
Shares of Inditex are up 4.5 percent this year.
Last year saw a move toward eliminating freebies across the apparel industry as retailers sought to control costs amid rising inflation around the world. Spain was among the Western European countries that recorded the highest inflation rate in the first half of 2022, reaching double digits during the summer months. It has since declined to 5.8 percent in January, and it is lower than any other countries in the region.
The strategy has been a headache for retailers from the day when it started because returning is costly due to the labor involved in shipping them back, Inspected, and put up for resale.
Hennes & Mauritz AB and fast retailing company Uniqlo, among others, already charge for online returns in Spain, so Inditex isn’t the first!