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In the week following Black Friday sales, UK retailers have experienced a 40% surge in returned items.

Retailers could be facing a Black Friday hangover this week according to payments processor Worldpay, with analysis of the previous years UK card transactions showing a surge in returns following the post-Thanksgiving flash sale.

Analysis of consumer spending pattern showed the total number of refunds processed by UK retailers in the week immediately following Black Friday increases by more than 40%* as impulse purchases are returned to stores. Additionally, research 63% of consumers are more likely to buy more from retailers who have a no quibbles returns policy.

If trends follow a similar pattern to last year, the number of refunds as a proportion of total card transactions processed could also rise by as much as 20% this week, suggesting Black Friday bargain-hunters are more likely to return goods than shoppers who made purchases at other times of the Christmas shopping period.

Dave Hobday, UK managing director, Worldpay commented: “Returns have always been part and parcel of the retail experience over the Christmas period, but the increased trend we’re seeing as a result of impulse-purchasing around Black Friday and Cyber Monday is adding a new level of complexity for retailers.

“High returns can turn into a logistical and operational headache for retailers, many of whom use Black Friday sales as a way of clearing stock in time for Christmas. But retailers can turn this additional level of interaction to their advantage, building goodwill and future loyalty by ensuring the refunds process is as quick, friendly and painless as possible, and even using it as an opportunity to upsell.”