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Customers quick off the mark for Christmas returns

02 January 2014

There was a gap of just one hour between last parcel collection on Christmas Eve and first return on Christmas Day, according to store-based parcel delivery and returns company CollectPlus.

The last parcel collection made this Christmas was recorded at 23:59 Tuesday 24th December – with the first return made one hour later on Christmas Day at 01:12am.

Rather than waiting until the shops reopen after the festivities, one CollectPlus customer made an early morning trip to their local international supermarket in Birmingham in the West Midlands, to return an unwanted Christmas present. Just one hour earlier, another took advantage of the 24/7 opening hours at their local BP station in Morecambe, Lancashire to make sure their gift was delivered in time for Christmas morning.

Neil Ashworth, CEO of CollectPlus comments: "The late collection and early returns times we’ve seen over the last few days are yet another example of how consumers are increasingly making the most of being able to choose when and where they want to take receipt of their online Christmas purchases – and then return them if necessary.

"The early return on Christmas morning is perhaps a sign that people are already sending back unwanted gifts before heading back to their favourite online stores for the January Sales which are now in full swing. We believe the trend for customers returning unwanted items in large numbers post-Christmas will continue, and peak during this New Year sale period, and through to the end of January.”

The IMRG and consultants Capgemini confirmed that online sales reached a record £10.1bn this December. However with customers increasingly demanding greater levels of convenience and flexibility when it comes to the delivery of their onlinepurchases, giving them the ability to collect or return these at a time and from a place that suits them has become increasingly important for many UK retailers.