H&M becomes latest retailer to start charging customers to return orders

H&M has started to charge customers to return orders <i>(Image: Mike Egerton/PA)</i>
H&M has started to charge customers to return orders (Image: Mike Egerton/PA)

H&M has become the latest retailer to charge a fee to customers who want to return online orders.

If customers wish to return parcels, whether that be in-store or online, they will have £1.99 taken from their refund total per parcel.

This isn’t the case for H&M Members though as they will still be able to return items for free.

If a delivery fee is paid, customers will only have it refunded if every item from the H&M order is returned.

H&M charges customers to return orders unless they're part of loyalty scheme

A spokesperson for the retailer told the BBC that the change to returning orders was made in the summer.

Other retailers such as Zara, Boohoo, Uniqlo and Next are already charging for returns of online orders.

Analysts believe more retailers will follow H&M and begin charging for returns too.

Retail expert Jonathan De Mello said: "It's interesting that companies seem to be doing it by stealth, but it's a sensible thing to be doing.”

He added: "It makes economic sense, as it discourages shoppers from bulk buying online products and then returning the majority of them. That's been a real problem for companies."

Despite some customers potentially reacting negatively to the change, he said that most would understand why companies would need to make the decision.

Customers with faulty or incorrect orders won't be charged the fee

Customers who return faulty or incorrect items won’t need to pay the £1.99 returns fee but it’s up to them to make sure they mention this when returning their items, the H&M website says.

Mr De Mello said since H&M members will be able to return items for free, it reflects the trend of loyalty schemes and retailing towards them.

"Particularly in the cost of living crisis, retailers need to work harder to retain customers, as people are keen to shop around for the best deals," he said.

"Loyalty is fickle, but if you can provide clear incentives, such as free returns, then you're more likely to retain your customers."