H&M increases return fees

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Earlier this year, H&M introduced a return fee of 0.99 euros for shoppers in various European countries, including the Netherlands. Starting from November 1, the rate will increase there by 1 euro, more than doubling the fee. H&M club members will no longer be exempt from this.

H&M is one of the fashion companies that have (re)introduced return fees to reduce the number of returns and associated costs after conducting tests in Norway and the United Kingdom. Free returns had become the norm in ecommerce during the last decade, but online fashion players saw a decline in their online revenue growth and felt compelled to take action and improve their profitability.

No longer a taboo

Charging a fee for returns is no longer considered a taboo for online fashion retailers taking themselves seriously. Just like H&M, for example, Zara-owner Inditex also started charging return fees, which amount to 1.95 euros in many countries.

Zara also charges return fees

Starting next week, Dutch H&M customers will pay slightly more for their returns: 1.99 euros, as announced by the company on its customer service page. Unlike the current policy, even club members will have to pay the fee from November, except for so-called Plus members who spend a minimum of 500 euros annually on the brand. Returning items in H&M stores remains free for Dutch customers.

Return policy

Return fee policies vary between countries where H&M operates online. Belgian online shoppers already pay a fee of 1.95 euros (four cents less than in the Netherlands), except for Plus members. In France, H&M charges a fee of 0.95 euros, but members do not have to pay for returns. The same applies to the United Kingdom market, where non-members must pay 1.95 British pounds. For German shoppers, returning items is still completely free, whether they are members or not.

Wehkamp

In the Netherlands, there has been much discussion recently about the impact of the 0.50 euro return fee introduced by Wehkamp this spring. The online department store revealed at a conference that approximately five thousand fewer products are returned daily, which accounts for 10 percent of the total. Customers are now ordering fewer different sizes and colors.

Wehkamp: customers are ordering fewer sizes and colors

In addition to return fees, Wehkamp has also introduced delivery fees. Consumers are charged 50 cents per package for home delivery, while picking up items at parcel points remains free.

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