Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / Holiday return fraud to cost US retailers $3.4bn - NRF
Holiday return fraud to cost US retailers $3.4bn - NRF
Dec '13
As one of the most serious, but often most misunderstood, retail loss prevention issues, return fraud costs retailers billions of dollars every year. 

According to NRF’s 2013 Return Fraud Survey completed by loss prevention executives at 62 retail companies, the industry will lose an estimated $8.76 billion to return fraud this year, and $3.39 billion during the holiday season alone. Overall, 5.8 percent of holiday returns are fraudulent, up slightly from 4.6 percent last year.

“While coverage of this issue paints return fraud as one of the ‘less severe’ retail crimes, the fact of the matter is that returning used or stolen items, or even using false tender to purchase items is fraud, period,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Rich Mellor.

“Recent efforts to combat fraudulent activity are slowly starting to work, but criminals are becoming more savvy and technologically advanced in their methods, making it even more difficult for retailers and law enforcement to keep up with the growing problem.”

According to the survey, nearly all (94.8%) retailers polled say they have experienced the return of stolen merchandise in the last year, and 69.0 percent report that they have experienced the return of merchandise purchased on fraudulent or stolen tender. Additionally, 29.3 percent have found criminals using counterfeit receipts to return merchandise.

Employee return fraud or collusion with external sources is also a big problem for retailers: nine in 10 (93.1%) report they’ve dealt with this issue in the past year. For the first time, NRF asked retailers about their experiences with return fraud and a connection to organized retail crime groups: 60.3 percent have experienced this in the past year.

One of the biggest issues for retailers is the practice of ‘wardrobing,’ or the return of used, non-defective merchandise like special occasion apparel and certain electronics. Many companies have employed specific tactics to help curb this unethical practice, and are beginning to see the fruits of their labor: 62.1 percent report having been victims of wardrobing, down from 64.9 percent last year.

The survey found 15.5 percent say they have dealt with e-receipt return fraud. And, as online sales continue to grow, 82.5 percent say they allow customers to return merchandise purchased online in their stores.

Must ReadView All

Union textiles minister Smriti Irani addressing at the Texprocil Annual Export Awards. Courtesy: PIB

Textiles | On 22nd Oct 2016

Govt to extend special package to home textiles segment

The Central government is likely to extend the recently approved Rs...

Reebok Liquid Speed Grey. Courtesy: Business Wire

Apparel/Garments | On 22nd Oct 2016

Reebok’s Liquid Factory brings sneaker creation to US

Reebok, a pioneer in the sporting goods industry, has brought sneaker ...

Courtesy: GHCL

Textiles | On 22nd Oct 2016

GHCL to invest Rs 67.25 crore in textile division

Chemicals and textiles firm GHCL will invest Rs 67.25 crore in its...

Interviews View All

Shawn Honeycutt
Bolger & O'Hearn

‘The Indian market is interesting and rather persistent in seeking new...

Vidhyaa Shankar. S
A Ganapathi Chettiar

'The usage of knits is getting into the boundaries of woven fabrics'

Giovanni Pizzamiglio, Paolo Crespi & Riccardo Robustelli
Epson, For.Tex & F.lli Robustelli

‘The percentage share of printing in the global textile market is pretty...

Kai Poehler
Voith Paper GmbH & Co. KG

The glass mat industry is growing by five to eight per cent annually. Kai...

Eric Scholler

The Indian market has huge potential in technical textiles, and by far,...

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a leading...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Sonam & Paras Modi

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Silvia Venturini Fendi
Fendi s.r.l

"Yes, my confidence and positive attitude are my strengths and should be...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies

October 2016

October 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


Advanced Search