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German consumers have returned less during Christmas

German consumers seem to have chosen their clothing and accessories more carefully during Christmas 2014, as less clothes have returned to the online merchants compared to the annual average. The return rate of typical Christmas gifts like hats, scarfs, shirts, ties and sweaters was around 28%. According to industry estimates it’s usually about 40% or more and in women’s fashion it’s even higher with 70%.

“This makes the management of returns one of the biggest cost factors”, says TextilWirtschaft. “When the return rate decreases, the yield will increase.” The study, called “Retouren zur Weihnachtszeit”, shows the female buyer is significantly more selective than the male buyer. About one in three women (34%) who have bought something or received a gift during the Christmas period, have returned their order partially or completely. For men however, this percentage was about 21%.

Returns during Christmas period in Germany

When looked at the different generations, the consumers between 30 and 49 years old returned their fashion gifts and purchases most frequently. For this target group, the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung calculated a return rate of almost 31%. That’s a little bit more than the 28% return rate in the group of buyers under 29 years. And in the 50-plus group, which traditionally doesn’t return goods so often, slightly more than every fourth order (26%) was sent back to the retailer.

GfK Fashion & Lifestyle surveyed about 9,100 consumers aged 14 and over. Of this group, around 33% stated they ordered or received clothing during the Christmas period.

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