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Did You Return Your Christmas Gift? So Did These Customers

Christmas season is traditionally the biggest period for returning purchased goods. It's also the most demanding time of the year for retailers who need to offer top quality assistance to impatient clients. Unhappy gift-owners often will want to change the color of their clothing or to get their cash back - ASAP. So, what are the top Christmas gift-returning trends and figures from 2014? We've selected the best ones from the US, UK, Germany and France for you to give you a better overview of the situation.


  • 32 percent of shoppers indicated they typically return gifts that they receive from family and friends. In 2013, close to half (45 per cent) of shoppers admitted to returning gifts.
  • UPS found that 62 per cent of its customers said they returned an item they bought online this year. UPS also predicted that it would be sending 4 million return packages this January, up from 3.5 million in 2013.
  • Customers prefer to get money back from the store (40 per cent). Less favored were getting gift cards/certificates (16 per cent), exchanges for other items at the store (13 per cent) and store credit (11 per cent).


  • £223mn of unwanted Christmas presents was returned in 2014. 45% of consumers who had tried to return gifts in the past said they were unsuccessful. 9% of customers who returned gifts did so last year with items worth on average £50.
  • Over the years, 29% of shoppers have attempted to return a Christmas present.
  • Reasons for returns? While 45% of asked wanted to exchange gifts for a better fit or colour or because they didn’t like what they had been given (40%), 12% said that they had returned a gift because they wanted the cash.


  • One in three Germans uses the time between Christmas and New Year to return their Christmas gift. Return policy depends only on the good will of the retailer, due to the lack of legislation
  • Despite the declining revenue in the brick stores, the volume of the whole Christmas shopping revenue has risen due to the growth in the e-commerce and the m-commerce.
  • In 2014, the volume of Christmas shopping revenue was predicted to grow by 1,9% to 72,5 billion EUR.


  • French have seem to spend a lot less money during this Christmas. This year was the first one with decrease in consumption. Most expenses were spent on children
  • French often resell the unwanted gifts. The value of returned gifts in 2013 was almost 600 million. 27% of the French customers have returned a Christmas gift at least once.
  • In 46% of cases was the gift returned because it was of no use to the customer, 34% simply didn’t like it and 20% of the cases stated that they would prefer to use the money to buy something else.
  • One client in France was not satisfied with the service he received in a restaurant, so… he came back and robbed the place!

As these facts demonstrate clearly, Christmas holidays are one of the most demanding moments for shop owners – and it's not going to change anytime soon. The key is to stay on top of the game, and have the existing customer support ready for quick and easy assistance to those customers who want their gifts exchanged - or their money back. Those who manage to do it seamlessly can sleep safe, assured their clients will continue to shop with them. Those who do not pass the test in flying colors, should perhaps already consider some improvements, like introducing new solutions that would not only optimize the workflow, but would make the whole return process less stressful for both their staff – and, of course, for the customers.

For the complete infographic, please, see below:

Want to read more about the topic? Check out our recommended reading:

IB Times: Retailers And Delivery Companies Scramble To Process Holiday Gift Returns
Apparel: After-Christmas Shoppers Focus on Me, Myself and I
Washington Post: Christmas shopping is over. Now bring on the deluge of gift returns
Wales Online: £223m of unwanted Christmas presents
Die Welt: So einfach können Sie Geschenke umtauschen
Internet World: M-Commerce-Umsatz verfünffacht sich
Boursorama: Que faire des cadeaux que vous n'aimez pas?
La Depeche: Cadeaux de Noël - c'est déjà la course à la revente
Le JSL: Satisfaits ou échangés
France TV Info: Consommation - les Français ont peu dépensé durant les vacances de Noël
La Voix Du Nord: Après le rush des achats, place aux retours des cadeaux de Noël
Le Parisien: Ris-Orangis - le client mécontent revient braquer le restaurant!

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