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Festive returns to rise after online spending spree

Up to 40% of fashion purchases are likely to be returned to stores after the surge of spending online this Christmas.

The amount of clothes returned is expected to rise from the usual 30% as a result of shoppers struggling to get to grips with the variety of sizing online and issues around the translation of colour through computer screens or tablet devices.

According to the Guardian Credit Suisse analyst Simon Irwin warned this phenomenon could have been behind the strong Christmas shopping figures this year, artificially inflating takings during December.

“Product returns no doubt have a small part to play in why December has been consistently stronger for retailers relative to the months after it,” he said.

However, Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson said returns would not have a massive impact for most retailers over several months.

“I would be amazed if we get to the year end and find out there has been an issue with returns,” he said.

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