While the impact of Boxing Day sales is waning due to the growing emphasis on Black Friday and the heavy discounting that retailers are engaging in before Christmas, the day will still be notable for the high levels of returns that stores will process, due to unwanted Christmas presents.
Patrick O’Brien, UK Retail Research Director at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“Unwanted pyjamas and other sleepwear are the most returned Christmas presents from UK shoppers, with jumpers and tops in the next two places, according to GlobalData’s latest UK Christmas shopping survey, indicating that clothing retailers will be bearing the brunt of the dash to exchange or get refunds over the next few days. 10.8% of Christmas present recipients make at least one return, with half of those returning more than one gift.
“Men are slightly more likely than women to return gifts but the big demographic difference is in age group. The younger you are the more likely you are to return Christmas presents, indicating that as we get older we become more grateful, or become easier to buy for, or are just less inclined to bother returning gifts. 18-24 year olds are more than five times more likely to return gifts than the over 55s.
‘‘There are also startling differences between UK regions, with Londoners almost 5 times more likely to return gifts than those in the North East, meaning that Boxing Day stores in the capital may be more busy today, but for many, returns disruption will be having a negative effect on retail sales.
“Some stores will be refusing to process returns instore for the first few days of their sales in order to prioritise customer service on buying customers. River Island won’t accept any returns on Boxing Day and JD Sports won’t take returns until 29th December.”