Staples stores will take online returns – even from other retailers

AJ Gonzalez | October 14, 2020

Chain Storage, By Dan Berthiaume – 10/08/2020

Staples is joining the contactless Express Returns network.

The office supplies giant will turn more than 1,000 of its stores across the U.S. into packageless dropoff points for the Express Returns offering from end-to-end return solution provider Optoro. Early in 2021, participating Staples stores will be part of a nationwide network of physical locations that accept in-store returns for online consumers.

As part of the program, Staples will be able to seamlessly process in-store returns of its own products, as well as items sold by other retailers, using QR code technology from Returnly. Shoppers will receive a QR code and return dropoff instructions via an online returns portal. They then can bring the code and return item to one of the participating Staples stores, without needing to print a label or package the return. This will enable customers to skip the line while providing a safer experience for associates.

Simon Malls engages in a similar in-store omnichannel reverse logistics program with the Happy Returns Return Bar solution. Walgreens processes online returns via a partnership with FedEx, and both Walgreens and Nordstrom accept returns of online purchases at stores in collaboration with the Narvar Concierge network.

“Through this partnership with Optoro, Staples Stores are able to provide safe, contactless return options so customers at 1,000 locations can spend less time on the go and more time at home with family this holiday season,” said Craig Grayson, VP/GMM, print & marketing services, Staples U.S. Retail. “The integration of Express Returns will alleviate the stress consumers often face when looking for an easy and efficient way to return products.”

“During COVID-19, ecommerce shopping has sharply increased, which in turn leads to a significant rise in returns,” said Adam Vitarello, president and co-founder of Optoro. “As retailers head into peak shopping season around the holidays, we’re excited to roll out our new Express Returns offering to allow retailers to deliver an excellent customer experience during a pivotal time. We’ve found that 97% of consumers are likely to shop with a retailer again following a positive returns experience, and the stakes this year are higher than ever.”

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