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Report: Shoppers Feel Return Policies Are Fair

Washington D.C. With an eye on customer service, more retailers plan to be more lenient with their holiday merchandise-returns policies this year. Shoppers plan to do their part to ease the process by giving gift receipts with their holiday gifts, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF’s) 2008 Holiday Returns Survey.

The study, conducted by BIGresearch, reported that 52% of retailers’ holiday returns policies will be more accommodating compared to the rest of the year.

“As retailers grapple with a struggling economy, providing great customer service remains a top priority,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF’s president and CEO.

Many gift givers are making returns easier for loved ones and retailers alike, by attaching gift receipts to packages. For example, 59.6% of shoppers said they include the original receipt or a gift receipt at least some of the time. This is slightly higher than 57.5% of shoppers who followed the same rule last year. In addition, the survey found that nearly nine out of 10 Americans (87.2%) feel retailers’ return policies are fair.

Retailers plan to schedule extra staff available to assist with holiday returns this year, Mullen said. However, they may not be necessary. According to the survey, two-thirds, or 65.2% of gift recipients did not return any gifts last holiday season.

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