Holiday Return Rates Revealed: Nationwide Returns Peaked at 2:15 p.m. on Dec 26

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With return authorization solutions deployed in 27,000 stores across the country, The Retail Equation is uniquely positioned to paint an accurate picture of the state of post-holiday returns in the United States. Every year, the company reviews vast amounts of return statistics gathered during the seven days after Christmas to reveal compelling facts about consumer return behavior.

2014’s Top Five Holiday Return Facts

The peak time of returns nationwide occurred at2:15 p.m. (Eastern Time)/11:15 a.m. (Pacific Time) on Dec. 26.

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2.The highest rate of returns nationwide occurred on Dec. 26, where returns were almost 2.5 times the normal rate seen during the holiday season.  Dec. 27 was also double the holiday rate.

The Midwestern states had the highest rate at returns, when comparing total dollars purchased to total dollars returned and exchanged.

Ohio and Illinois had the highest rates of returns with 22.7 percent, while Iowa had the second highest at 22.4 percent.Return Rates by State

The state with the least rate of returns was Hawaii with 12.7 percent.

“The Retail Equation’s predictive analytics and optimization solutions are designed to create a positive shopping experience as well as optimize retailers’ revenue during the holiday season by improving the consumer return process,” said David Speights, chief data scientist at The Retail Equation. “Furthermore, it has been proven that companies taking action to prevent return fraud and abuse can significantly reduce shrink.”

As the hustle and bustle of the holidays begins to wind down, retail executives turn their attention to final shrink numbers. The Retail Equation has conducted studies to substantiate the fact that return rate and return fraud are closely tied to shrink. These studies indicate that if a retailer takes actions to prevent return fraud and abuse, shrink can be reduced by a significant amount. This suggests that paying close attention to returns is a powerful weapon to combat shrink. As companies look to improve their loss prevention metrics in the coming months, they should consider implementing strategies to reduce return rate and fraud and, ultimately, shrink.

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