Zara announces it's now charging for online returns

Zara is now charging for online returns, and the internet has some thoughts

The retailer has unveiled the plan in a bid to drive footfall back into its bricks-and-mortar stores. 

In a move that could potentially signal the end of haul culture, high street juggernaut Zara has announced that it will now be charging for online returns.

Customers who want to return items bought online must now pay £1.95, which will be deducted from the refund total, to return pieces via third-party drop-off points. Returning pieces to the brand’s stores, however, will not carry a charge.

Zara joins other high street brands, including Uniqlo and Next, in implementing the rule, which has divided the internet, with users taking to Twitter to decry the announcement.  

Zara announces it's now charging for online returns
Zara recently teamed up with Good American on a size-inclusive denim collection.

One user wrote: “Zara making changes to your free returns which now cost your customers and making no announcement about it? Not cool.”

The move has raised questions about what could potentially see the end of haul culture, where many TikTok and Instagram users bulk-buy pieces from all manner of high-street brands, Zara among them, before returning the majority, if not all, of them. The hashtag #ZaraHaul on TikTok has been viewed 2.6 billion times to date.  

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Zara’s previous policy was to offer free returns for online purchases. The new policy aims to encourage customers to return less and make more informed shopping choices. On a separate corner of the internet, Twitter users have also praised Zara for the new rule.

One user praised the decision for its environmental impact, saying it was a “great measure to help stop C02 emissions”.

The recent rise in online returns was attributed to Boohoo’s slump in profits last year, a sign that other labels could be quick to follow suit.  

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Images: courtesy of Zara