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Faced with an onslaught of returns, retailers are telling shoppers: "Just keep it."

Dec 1, 2023
“Returnless refunds” or “keep it" return policies have now been adopted by more than half of major retailers, according to a new survey.
One reason retailers have adopted "keep it" return policies is that shipping and re-shelving can cost a lot.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The long-expected consumer pullback may finally be materializing

Nov 29, 2023
We spent more over the holiday, but we bought less — thanks to inflation.
While consumers spent a couple percent more this Black Friday weekend than last, they didn’t necessarily buy more.
Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images

Retailers wielding holiday discounts as competitive weapon

Nov 27, 2023
Instead of marking down items to clear inventory, retailers are using discounts to draw customers away from competitors.
Sales from post-Thanksgiving promotions could influence what the rest of the holiday shopping season looks like.
Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images

Will retailers risk rolling back the generous return policies shoppers love?

Nov 24, 2023
Free online returns and 60-day windows are popular but cost companies money. Some e-commerce players are experimenting with changes.
Some companies are trying to prevent costly returns by providing detailed product information and experimenting with virtual try-ons.
Emily Elconin/Getty Images

In retail, it's all about "omnichannel" selling

Nov 23, 2023
It’s not in-store versus online — it’s in-store and online, and something in between.
"[Walmart's] in-store experience is really consistent. They have a lot of doors throughout the U.S. But they're also putting a lot of efforts into online Black Friday deals," said Brittany Steiger at Mintel.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Costs have been falling for retailers — some retailers, at least

Nov 16, 2023
While supply chain costs have fallen over the last year, some retailers are still facing wage pressure and inventory costs.
Walmart has tried to cut freight costs by expanding the size of its private fleet.
George Frey/Getty Images

A New York City street vendor scrabbles and strives to make a living

Nov 16, 2023
The Street Vendor Project estimates at least 20,000 vendors are operating in New York City, but there are permits for only about 6,000.
Vicente Veintimilla sets up his stall at the same place on the sidewalk every day near bus, subway and commuter train stops and Fordham University in the Bronx.
Amalia Silverheart/Marketplace

For public good, not for profit.

Ringing in the holiday season with consumer sentiment at a 6-month low

Nov 10, 2023
The latest consumer survey from the University of Michigan shows that sentiment dropped for the fourth straight month.
Through lockdowns and supply chain snarls, inflation and interest rate hikes, consumer spending has remained resilient.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Big box stores go big on renovations to tempt shoppers

Nov 7, 2023
They're trying to stay ahead of what customers, now used to online convenience and speed, expect from a retailer.
Endless aisles are Walmart’s strength — but also its weakness.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

UPS moves further into "reverse logistics" with purchase of Happy Returns

Oct 30, 2023
Delivery giant grows its network of sites where customers can send back packages by adding 10,000 Happy Returns drop-off locations.
Expanding its network of drop-off locations promises to boost the efficiency of UPS' package pickup operation.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images