Dishonest shoppers and “serial returners” face crackdowns by shops, who are resorting to using social media to catch them out.
Retailers from Asos to Harrods are adopting behind-the-scenes measures to catch shoppers wearing clothes before sending them back, and falsely claiming they have not received items bought online.
One in five pounds spent in the UK now comes via websites and smartphone apps, making it easier than ever for consumers to order clothes and other items in bulk and then send them back at no extra expense to themselves.
Serial returners, categorised as shoppers who deliberately and regularly buy multiple items with the intent to return some, have become such a problem for retailers that nearly half (45 percent) are planning to blacklist them, research shows.
The findings by Brightpearl, a resource planning platform, asked over 200 “key decision makers” at retailers in the UK and found that over a third have seen an uplift in serial returners over the last 12 months.
It comes at a time when many shops on the high street are struggling, with stores like BHS, House of Fraser and Debenhams hitting headlines over extreme financial woes.