Retail Week can reveal that New Look has started a trial of charging customers for postal returns of online orders. 

New Look London store

Customers will still be able to return items bought online for free in-store

The fashion retailer will charge £1.99 to return items via post during the trial but said customers can continue to return online orders to New Look stores for free.

New Look follows both Boohoo and Zara, which both made the decision to implement a fee for customers returning items last year.

A source at the business said New Look saw charging for returns as a way of “recovering our costs” online, rather than making money from the fees.

“People are returning because they just don’t like the feel or look of it, so actually we’re never going to get that returns rate down really low,” she said.

“Therefore the offset is, by charging for return, we can keep our sales price lower and that is why we’ve introduced it.”

A spokesperson for New Look added: ”New Look has taken the decision to trial a £1.99 fee for postal returns.

”This is in line with the wider industry and reflects increased costs related to delivery and collection. Customers are still able to return their online orders to our stores free of charge.”

The move to charging for online returns follows Springboard’s forecast last month that said footfall on high streets and in shopping centres last year saw increases of 51.2% and 52% respectively compared to 2021, while online share of clothes and footwear spending fell from 65% in February 2021 to 24.9% in December 2022.

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