Dressbarn offers omnichannel returns

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Dressbarn may have shuttered its stores, but customers now have an in-person option for returning purchases.

The specialty women’s apparel retailer, which closed all its 544 stores at the end of 2019 and relaunched in digital-only format in January 2020, is partnering with Happy Returns. Dressbarn, now operated by Retail Ecommerce Ventures, is leveraging the third-party omnichannel returns platform to provide returns software and reverse logistics.

Happy Returns powers the returns portal on Dressbarn’s website. It also provides Dressbarn shoppers with contactless, in-person dropoff of returns at Happy Returns’ network of more than 500 physical Return Bars in 150 U.S. metro areas. Dressbarn shoppers receive a QR code they can use for box-, label-, and contact-free returns for an immediate refund or exchange. 

Employees at the Return Bar look up the customer order by their email address with the Happy Returns app to verify the item can be returned. The associates then inspect the item and collect the reason for return to initiate the refund, with the customer receiving an email receipt. Happy Returns then prepares returns for restocking, using bulk shipments whenever possible to reduce costs. 

In the first 30 days since launch, Dressbarn says that over 75% of its shoppers have opted to drop off returns in-person rather than returning via USPS. Shopper feedback on the return experience has earned a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 90 for the ease, speed, and safety of the service. 

“Happy Returns is a natural fit for our ecommerce-first strategy,” said Dressbarn CEO Shayan Zadeh. “Having enjoyed our physical stores for decades, our shoppers are accustomed to the convenience of in-person returns. To meet these customer expectations while also growing our online presence, Happy Returns’ network provides Dressbarn shoppers with the accessibility of a physical drop-off location while still maintaining a contactless experience.”

Plus-size women’s retailer Avenue, which also shifted to an online-only format, as well as BigCommerce and Simon Malls, will utilize Happy Returns’ omnichannel reverse logistics solution, as well.