Retailers extended their return policies because of COVID, which is convenient for customers but less so for retailers.

WHAT HAPPENED: Retailers like Macy’s, Kohl’s and Gap extended their return policies as stores remain closed.


Brands and retailers need to generate revenue now but the benefits of this new policy will not last for long. This initiative will likely attract discount-dependent shoppers who will purchase multiple sizes and return the duplicate items at a later date. Retailers should plan ahead—not only for the higher volume of returned products but also how “sellable” returns will be presented in-store. Even if a garment is returned with the tags on, it has been in someone’s home and likely on their body—leaving retailers on the hook to prove their resold merchandise is safe.