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Huge year looms for e-commerce returns

E-commerce returns this year could total $66.7 billion, a 45.6 percent increase compared with the average amount compiled during the last five years, according to data released last week.

That would mean more stress for retailers, many of whom are having enough problems dealing with supply chain, CBRE said in a report it compiled based on National Retail Federation data.

CBRE partnered with Optoro, on the study, a company that provides technology and services for processing retail returns.

Forty-one percent of all holiday shoppers said they plan to shop early this year to avoid possible product scarcity and supply chain delays. Earlier buying can mean earlier returns, if shoppers decide to return the gifts before handing them out.

“E-commerce holiday gift returns have always been a significant challenge for retailers, but this year will be particularly difficult,” said John Morris, executive managing director and industrial and logistics leader with CBRE, in the statement.

“With the growth of e-commerce during the pandemic and the increasing costs across a bruised supply chain, reverse logistics will be tougher and more costly than ever before for retailers this holiday season.”

E-commerce sales are expected to reach $222.3 billion this year, according to the federation.

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