Dec. 21, 2020
By Linne Fulcher, Vice President, Customer Strategy, Science and Journeys, Walmart U.S.
We know the easiest return for a customer is one they never have to make. But we, too, know the reality of being gifted a third air fryer or that ugly Christmas sweater … that wasn’t actually intended to be ugly. Combined with a year unlike any other, we knew it was time to look at our return policies and processes to ensure they were safe and headache-free.
Just in time for the busy holiday return season, we are excited to announce that customers can return items purchased online* (shipped and sold by Walmart.com) without ever having to leave home. Now, customers can schedule a return through our new service, Carrier Pickup by FedEx, which is an incredibly convenient way to make that unwanted gift *magically* disappear. Even more magical, this new return option is not only super-easy but also free, and here to stay beyond the holiday season.
Every return that starts online or in the Walmart App increases customer convenience. So, we’ve made it easy for customers who don’t have access to a printer to return items as well. While creating a return request on the Walmart App or Walmart.com simply:
- Select “Drop off at FedEx” as the return method
- Get a return code / QR code
- Take packaged return along with the QR code to any FedEx Office location.
- A FedEx associate will scan the QR code, print a free return label, attach it to the box and ship it back to us.
We’re also making a few changes to the process for customers who still wish to return their items in-store, while still keeping our normal, extended holiday return policy in effect. That includes:
- No matter where customers bought items – in-store, online or from a third-party vendor, customers can start their return online via the Walmart app or on Walmart.com. If customers don’t have a Walmart account, they can also type or click www.walmart.com/startreturn to save time in line and make returning at the store quick and easy.
- In many stores, we will open an alternate location(s) within the store to make returns and help maintain social distancing guidelines.
- Can’t find the receipt? No problem! If a customer has purchased an item with a debit/credit card in-store, we can look up the purchase at the register.
Top that off with more good news for customers: No matter how customers choose to return the item, we’ve worked hard to speed up the time frame for which customers get their money back. For many online returns, refunds will be credited to customers’ payment account sometimes as soon as the next day, and same day for in-store returns.
Don’t worry – these returned items aren’t all going to waste. Since December 2019, we have diverted more than 100,000 tons of returned merchandise and enterprise assets from the landfill through our donation, product liquidation and numerous recycling programs. With various recycling programs in place this year, we have been able to produce ~1.9 million pounds of recycled plastic resin which will be reused in manufacturing of 9.2+ million products that will be sold in our stores. Who knew reverse logistics could be so impactful!
The holidays are stressful enough. No matter how customers buy items we want the returns experience to be easy, safe and seamless. We’re proud of the changes we’re making to take some of the stress – and those unwanted Christmas sweaters – off our customers’ backs.
*Carrier Pickup available to all customers where FedEx provides Small Parcel Pickup service.