Shoppers urged to return clothes to stores before extended returns end

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Many retailers extended their return policies just before the third lockdown as non-essential shops were forced to close. But now customers must return unwanted purchases to stores as soon as possible or they will miss out on being refunded.

Primark, Argos, H&M, and more extended their return dates for customers just before the UK’s third lockdown was put in place in January.

Many retailers confirmed at the time that shoppers will be able to hold onto purchases until after lockdown lifted.

This means that customers will still be able to receive a full refund if they return items to stores now – even though the usual time frame for returns is normally only 30 days.

However, shoppers must act fast as most retailers’ extended returns policies end early next month.

Some customers might still be holding onto unwanted Christmas gifts or any other items that they received or bought before 4 January, when non-essential shops were forced to close in England.

Clothes stores reopened in England on Monday, 12 April, and allowed shoppers less than a month’s time to return items to stores to get their money back.

Primark gave shoppers 28 days from stores reopening to return their purchases.

This means that customers have until 10 May to acquire a refund from the retailer.

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When the lockdown was put in place in January, a Primark spokesperson said: “We have continued our extended returns policy to reflect our store closures.

“Any purchases with a return date on or after January 31 on a customer receipt can be returned for up to 28 days after re-opening.”

H&M also extended its returns policy to 28 days after stores reopening in England, meaning that its customers have until 10 May to return items.

However, Primark and H&M customers living in Scotland have until 24 May to return purchases as non-essential retailers in the country did not reopen until 26 April.

Additionally, Dunelm Mill extended its returns policy to 10 May for any purchases made in store since 28 November, 2020.

Argos, on the other hand, gave customers until 12 May to return unwanted items purchased on or after 18 October, 2020.

TK Maxx shoppers also have until 12 May to return products bought in-store or online between 16 October and the end of December last year.

Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, commented on the extended returns policies.

He said: “Many high-street stores and retailers extended their in-store return policies for items bought during or just before the national lockdown in January.

“With some of these deadlines now fast-approaching, consumers should check the individual store’s policy and look to return any unwanted lockdown purchases or gifts as soon as possible to ensure they don’t miss out.

“Which? also expects retailers to offer flexibility to those who are required to self-isolate or take additional shielding precautions due to the pandemic.”

Clothes retailers usually give customers up to 30 days to change their mind about an item and return it to store, while clothes bought online must be returned within 14 days.

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