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UPS acquires online return provider Happy Returns from PayPal

Happy Returns
Happy Returns has a new owner.

UPS is acquiring an ominchannel reverse logistics specialist.

The parcel delivery company has entered into an agreement to acquire Happy Returns from PayPal, which purchased the then-start-up for an undisclosed sum in May 2021 following a 2019 strategic investment. Happy Returns enables consumers to return online purchases in person and has more than 800 partners, including UPS rival FedEx and Simon.

Happy Returns operates a network of drop-off locations in metro areas in every state in the continental U.S., as well as Washington D.C. Shoppers start the return process on participating retailers’ websites or at and receive a QR code. 

They then bring the items — no box or receipt required — with the QR code to one of Happy Return’s drop-off locations. According to Happy Returns, a typical return takes less than a minute, returns are approved in real time, and the service initiates refunds and exchanges immediately in most cases. 

“We know that returns have long frustrated shoppers and retailers looking for quick and easy solutions,” said UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé. “By combining Happy Returns’ easy digital experience and established drop-off points with UPS’s small package network and footprint of close to 5,200 The UPS Store locations, box-free, label-free returns will soon be available at more than 12,000 convenient locations in the U.S.”

“Joining the UPS team is a win for both our employees and our customers,” said Happy Returns CEO and co-founder David Sobie, who will continue to lead the business for UPS after the deal closes. “In recent years, the growth of Happy Returns has accelerated, and we’ve built an enterprise-grade solution. This new chapter is a natural next step for Happy Returns and allows us to harness the power of the UPS network to transform the returns industry.”

The acquisition of Happy Returns is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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