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Siras Analyzes 2010 Holiday Returns


The rate of product
return within 90 days of purchase
increased by about 20 percent in the 12
weeks between Sept. 1 and Thanksgiving
for major CE retailers in 2010.

But it dropped steadily for purchases
made between Thanksgiving and Christmas,
to about 10 percent below the annual
average, according to an exclusive report prepared for TWICE by Siras,
based here, provider of product registration,
return validation and lifecycle tracking

Consumer electronics purchased on
Black Friday and the days immediately
before Christmas had the lowest rate of
return within 90 days of sale than products
purchased at any other time during
2010, the report shows.

“It’s interesting that while Black Friday
is typically the day with the best holiday
promotions, last year it was the days
immediately before Christmas that produced
the absolute lowest rate of 90-day
return,” said Siras president Peter Junger.
“Perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom,
those last-minute purchases are the
gifts people are most likely keep.”

It is too early to know if the pattern will
repeat itself in 2011, Junger said, though
Siras has seen this similar trend in reviewing
the two previous years’ data. So far as
figures were available for 2011, he stated,
rates of return were within typical ranges.

Junger said that most returns occur
within 90 days of sale and that the lower
rate of return for the Thanksgiving-to-
Christmas interval last year probably
meant that more of those sales remained
final – good news to retailers. He also noted
that, with respect to return activity, the
holiday spirit didn’t endure, and the rate
of return for the 90-day post purchase
period climbed back to annual norms immediately
after the New Year. “It was business
as usual on Jan. 1,” he said.