Retail Store Return Policies, Mothercare, and Customer Loyalty
In case you are unfamiliar with Mothercare, they are a leading world retailer of products geared towards expectant mothers, infants and young children. Based in the United Kingdom, they carry a vast array of products, everything from stylish maternity clothes to nursery furniture to pushchairs and prams. They carry bedding, toys, car seats and carriers as well as everyday baby necessities such as food, clothing and diapers. The list goes on.
Articles can be purchased either physically, in-store if there is one in the neighborhood, or online, where they are delivered by international or standard delivery, with a click and collect option for residents of the United Kingdom. There are brick and mortar stores located in thirty-eight countries outside of the U.K., and they include the Ukraine, countries within Eastern and Central Europe, as well as Africa and the Middle East.
Mothercare enjoys a phenomenal track record, with a ninety-seven percent rate of customers claiming they would be willing to be return shoppers. Their impressive following is due to a diverse selection of quality products as well as their comprehensive customer service, which aims at delivering the utmost level of satisfaction.
In retail,a store’s returns policy is a qualifying factor in whether a customer will come back, primarily because people need to feel secure that, if they should happen to change their mind about a purchase or if the item is unsuitable in some way, they can return, or at the very least, exchange it. Mothercare’s success could quite possibly be largely attributed to this flexibility and willingness to accommodate customers, as they offer a thirty day money back guarantee on unused merchandise. This is in keeping with current industry standards. They do not cover shipping charges – this is something to keep in mind when ordering large products.
Mothercare Returns Policy
There are several retailers that offer outstanding return policies on their merchandise, with their primary goal presumably being to achieve a level of unparalleled customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is a factor that is a huge part of driving sales, current and future, and some companies that follow this logic and don’t absolutely necessitate a receipt to return items are: Staples, Costco, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Nordstrom’s and L.L. Bean. Some of these places will issue a store credit or exchange, and if the item is returned with tags intact and in its original condition, a full refund. L.L. Bean has no time limits as to when you may return the item, whereas Nordstrom’s will give you ninety days to return an off-the-rack item with the original packing slip or receipt, and tags attached. Nordstrom’s and L.L.Bean offer refund by mail and if this should happen to be case, Nordstroms’s will pay for the return shipping. While Costco does not do returns by mail, it will arrange to pick up items that are too heavy to transport.
All the stores mentioned above generally have no time limits to return a purchase, with some exceptions to certain electronics, jewellery, evening dresses, etc., but they still accommodate the consumer very generously, with either a store credit or exchange. L.L. Bean is particularly driven to promote customer satisfaction as its return policy page states that customer satisfaction is their top priority and makes no specifications about merchandise being in its original condition. While most retailers will have certain specifications about products being returned, they still have no time limits to return them. Some stores with this type of policy include: Macy’s, J.C. Penney’s, Staples, Kohl’s, and Zappo’s, an online retailer. Victoria’s Secret, the popular women’s lingerie store, allows ninety days for an at store only return or exchange. H & M fashion retailer requires valid photo identification after thirty days or without a receipt for a store credit. Cosmetic and skincare retailer, Sephora has a thirty day money back guarantee with receipt or if a customer’s record of purchase is found within their electronic system. Otberwise, they will issue an exchange or store credit.
Conversely, some stores have a much shorter return window. Forever 21 gives customers twenty one days to return purchases of fashion apparel with receipt. Barnes and Noble, a bookstore, has a window of fourteen days.
An industry standard is a thirty day money-back guarantee with receipt for large department stores such as Walmart, Sears and Kmart. Some return policies are surprisingly generous to the consumer and require the retailer to effectively absorb or deflect loss. Policies are determined largely by a store’s range of inventory, or variety of products being offered and other operating factors.
Establishing a returns policy that is perceived as being fair by consumers and yet financially feasible to a retailer can be a delicate balancing act, since there are advantages and disadvantages to being generous. With its merchandise returns policy, Mothercare has been able to achieve a level of balance needed to promote consumer loyalty, while maintaining a thriving, successful, global business.