It’s a drastic change of situation and discreet, far from having gone unnoticed. The ready-to-wear giant Zaradecided to bill its customers, the return of orders placed on the Internet for 1.95 euro. A small sum certainly, but which nevertheless marks a decisive turning point in the fashion industry, since this decision-making risks inviting the competition to do the same.
Zara charges for returns of items purchased on the Internet, how much does it cost?
You may not have noticed it yet, but the fashion giant has added a line to its site, mentioning that all ” returns concerning orders placed from 04/28/2022 » now represent « a cost of 1.95 euro, deducted from the amount reimbursed“. If for the moment the other brands of the Inditex group (Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull and Bear, Stradivarius, Uterqüe, Oysho, etc.) are not yet affected by this new commercial strategy, the Zara brand has already changed course. .
A surprising decision to say the least, since Zara turns out to be the label the most profitable of the group with more than 2000 physical stores present in the world. As proof, the brand established in France since 1990 generated a turnover of more than 19.6 billion euros out of the 27.7 billion euros made by Inditex in 2021. pay for returns of Zara items purchased online, is therefore a surprising choice in view of the spectacular profits made by the brand of fast fashion. And here they could be the main reasons.
Orders placed on the internet, an ecological disaster
To solve this incomprehensible equation at first glance, let’s say that the stakes can be both financial and economic. And for good reason, the management of returns of items sold online are a real headache in terms of logistics, and are also the actors of an ecological disaster.
Because if traditional deliveries follow a simplified shipping path, they can ” be centralized to optimize distribution as pointed out BFM. Conversely, the return management via the internet is often handled individuallywith the indication of ” pre-printed labels provided on delivery “. The packages are then transported to the warehouse by trucks, which generates additional kilometers and costs, and results in significant pollution. A system visibly targeted by the Iberian brand, which only charges for the return of its orders to a drop-off point, while returning a Zara item to the store is always free. Moreover, the ” parcel volume has exploded since the health crisis “due in particular to the closure of physical points of sale.
Founders Amancio Ortega and his wife Rosalía Mera, seem willing to take the risk on what new billing systemdespite the significant drop in purchasing power facing theinflationbut also, despite the fact that the competition continues to offer the cost of returning products purchased online.
Zara, the competition favors free returns
A new experiment that could cost Zara dearly if customers give up buying online and turn to the competition, which continues the free returns of orders placed on the Internet, for most brands. This is particularly the case of the fast fashion giants Asos, Boohoo and Shein, which comply with the rule, having no physical stores. For its part, Zalando has set up a service allowing you to order and receive items and then try them on before making the bank transfer, in order to ” pay only those you keep » as evidenced by the ready-to-wear site. Will we see a generalization of return costs? Case to follow.