True Fit’s report also says that millennials are the next most likely cohort to return fashion items bought on Black Friday, with one in five items purchased during the sales event expected to be returned.

True Fit surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in the UK about their plans for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. The average shopper is expected to return 15% of the fashion items they purchase during the event.

The average Gen Z consumer, aged 18-25, is expected to spend £389 ($471.21) on clothing, footwear and accessories during the two sale events. This is more than the average UK planned spend of £239. For millennials, the average planned spend on fashion is £334.

Mentions of “returns” in apparel company filings 2018-2023

Source: GlobalData

GlobalData’s filings data shows the word “returns” was mentioned 44,114 times in apparel company filings in 2021 – that’s the highest rate seen in the last five years.

Since then, fewer company filings have mentioned returns, with the word appearing 39,081 times in 2022 and just 17,224 times in 2023 so far.

Apparel companies mentioning “returns” in their financial filings include Swedish fashion brand H&M, which has mentioned the topic ten times since 2018, US variety store Dollar General Corporation, which has mentioned returns seven times and Macy’s which has mentioned returns five times.

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In September, H&M announced plans to start charging a £1.99 fee on returns for non-members, a move that an industry expert suggested could work as an incentive for consumers to sign up with the retailer, boosting customer loyalty.

Jessica Arredondo Murphy, co-founder and COO at True Fit says: “Black Friday through Cyber Monday present an annual opportunity for retailers to build both revenue and acquire new customers. However, with a sixth of sales expected to be returned along with all the associated costs of reverse logistics and remerchandising that come with returned goods, a successful holiday season is about balancing sales with margin protection.”

“Our research shows fit assurance is the defining factor in online fashion conversions, and that fit is ultimately the key consideration as to whether a shopper keeps or returns an item,” she continues. “Getting the right size and fit to the consumer the first time is critical to win this holiday and build consumer trust and loyalty.”

Research from True Fit has previously suggested that Gen Z shoppers want fashion retailers to communicate the carbon impact of their purchases and aid shoppers during the buying process to reduce return rates.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.