First Christmas present returned at 1.53am on Christmas Day, CollectPlus reveals

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CollectPlus, the UK’s largest independent store-based delivery and returns service, has revealed that the UK’s first Christmas present was returned on Christmas Day at 1.53am.

Even before Santa had finished his rounds, one CollectPlus customer made an early morning trip to their local BP Garage in St Helens in Merseyside to return an unwanted item.

Recent research from CollectPlus reveals that 23% of people have returned an unwanted Christmas present in the past, with British shoppers estimating they will return almost one in three of the items they buy online this Christmas. Whilst some were returning unwanted items at the earliest opportunity, others were working up to the wire to get their gifts sent before the Christmas break.

Taking advantage of the 24 hour opening hours at their local convenience store, the last parcel collection was recorded at 11.47pm on Christmas Eve at Deneburn Stores in Consett, County Durham.

Neil Ashworth, CEO of CollectPlus, said: “Buying something for someone else can be a difficult task and generally people anticipate they will have to either return or exchange something they send or receive at Christmas.

“Consumers increasingly want to choose when and where they take receipt of, send and return their online Christmas purchases. As such, forward thinking retailers are making delivery and returns services much more flexible so that people can often collect and return parcels to a range of convenient points, quickly and easily, even on Christmas Day.

“This year, we’ve seen increased enthusiasm for retail promotions such as ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ and we expect to see another spike in online sales as the Boxing Day and January sales begin. The good news is that many retailers extend their standard 14-day returns periods over Christmas until the end of January, so depending on the retailer, shoppers have plenty of time to exchange or to get a refund and take full advantage of the great promotions on offer as they head into the New Year.”

CollectPlus, the first company to offer a nationwide Click and Collect service from local convenience stores, garages and supermarkets across the UK, has over 5,800 parcel stores in its network, nearly all of which are open early ‘til late, seven days a week. This enables customers of brands including Amazon, Very.co.uk, River Island and ASOS.com to collect, send and return their online purchases at their convenience – including over the two day Christmas break when many local stores remain open and operate late opening hours.

CollectPlus is a joint venture between PayPoint, the leading retail payment network and Yodel, the UK’s leading independent parcel carrier.