This year, more returns expected before the gifts are opened

(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)

The gifts under the tree haven’t been opened yet, but people are already returning some of their holiday hauls.

Delivery company UPS said that it expects its busiest return day to occur before Christmas for the first time. The company said there are many reasons for the pre-Christmas return boom, including more people buying stuff for themselves that they want to send back.

UPS said it expects to handle 1.5 million returns on Wednesday, and predicts another spike on Jan. 3, when it anticipates it will handle 1.3 million returned packages. Kathleen Marran, vice president of marketing at UPS, said its busiest return day has creeped up earlier and earlier in the past six years as retailers offer their holiday deals weeks before Thanksgiving, giving shoppers more time to change their mind.

UPS said it used historical data and information from retailers to come up with its figures.

Retailers have also made it easier for shoppers to return goods. Walmart and Target have been adding special areas in stores to make online returns quicker, and Amazon has opened shops inside Kohl’s department stores where returns can be dropped off.

Other reasons for earlier returns: Hanukkah fell in early December this year and more people are using rental clothing companies for holiday party outfits that they need to send back, said Marran.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.