Walgreens has combined with FedEx through their Returns Technology platform to allow online retailers to send customers a return code through emails. This code is then scanned at Walgreens locations, where staff print a label and accept the return package.
The aim is to enable customers to return unwanted items of online shopping through the Walgreens store estate, driving increased footfall for the grocer. eMarketer notes that as many as three quarters of US online shoppers said they would prefer to return online orders in stores. The tie-up will be fully operational this November, allowing shoppers to return holiday season orders to Walgreens over peak.
This new integration eliminates the need for customers to print their own return label, a hurdle many find annoying. Packages can now be brought in without being ready to ship and the Walgreens staff will print the label.
The move is part of a wider trend of retailers using pickup and drop-off (PUDO) propositions to drive increased footfall and maximise the utility of their store footprint. We also reported this month that 3 pharmaceutical chains have embraced Amazon Counter to allow Amazon customers to pickup and return their online shopping in their stores; and discounter Stein Mart has already taken 200 Amazon lockers into its locations.