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12/21/2020

Walmart partners with FedEx to pick up online returns

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart is introducing an at-home pickup service for online returns in time for the holidays – and beyond.

The discount giant is now allowing customers to schedule returns for items shipped and sold online via its Walmart.com e-commerce site through its new Carrier Pickup by FedEx service. While creating a return request on the Walmart app or website, customers can select “Carrier Pickup” as a return method and set a date for home pickup. They then receive a QR return code label which they print out, affix to the package being returned, and wait for pickup.

Customers who do not have access to a printer can select “Drop off at FedEx” as the return method and receive a mobile QR return code which they can take to any FedEx Office location along with the packaged return. A store associate will scan the QR code, print a free return label, attach it to the box, and ship it back to Walmart. The retailer is launching this new FedEx partnership for holiday purchases, but says it will maintain the service after the holidays are over.

Walmart is also making some changes to its in-store return policy, including enabling customers to start a return via the Walmart e-commerce site or app for products purchased in-store, online or from a third-party vendor. In many stores, the retailer will open an alternate location(s) to make returns and help maintain social distancing guidelines. If a customer has purchased an item with a debit/credit card in-store and can’t find the receipt, an associate can look up the purchase at the register.

In addition, no matter how customers choose to return the item, Walmart is speeding up processing time so that for many online returns, refunds will be credited to customers’ payment account as soon as the next day, and the same day for in-store returns.

Since December 2019, Walmart says it has diverted more than 100,000 tons of returned merchandise and enterprise assets from the landfill through its donation, product liquidation, and recycling programs. 

“The holidays are stressful enough,” said Linne Fulcher, VP, customer strategy, science and journeys, Walmart U.S., in a corporate blog post. “No matter how customers buy items we want the returns experience to be easy, safe and seamless. We’re proud of the changes we’re making to take some of the stress – and those unwanted Christmas sweaters – off our customers’ backs.”