Target Liberalizes, While Bed, Bath & Beyond Tightens Return Policies

In an initiative that puts a particular spotlight on its brands and registry operations, Target has updated its returns/exchange policy to make it easier to bring back own-brand merchandise. At the same time, Bed, Bath & Beyond is tightening its own returns policy.

Target has announced that customers now have a full year to return or exchange any products from Target’s private label and exclusive brand assortment.

In addition, on the gift side, customers have a year from the event date to return or exchange most new and unopened items purchased through gift registries, the company stated.

In announcing the change in returns policy, Target emphasized that the one-year term on returns comes in the wake of its revamping of the registry experience. The retailer stated that it had focused on upgrading and simplifying gift shopping in its registry initiative.

“At Target, we’re putting our guests first and are committed to offering a shopping experience that’s inspiring and rooted in ease,” said Kathee Tesija, chief merchandising and supply chain officer, Target, in announcing the returns changes. “Our enhanced return policy offers our guests convenience we think they’ll appreciate, while providing additional assurance of the quality of owned and exclusive brands found only at Target.”

Target’s change of terms comes as some retailers are tightening liberal returns policies, which have sometimes been subject to abuse.

Bed, Bath & Beyond issued the following statement to HOMEWORLD BUSINESS about changes to its return policy, which will take a 20% fee from returns that are made without a receipt and that can’t be traced through the retailer’s data archives:

“Effective April 20, 2015, we are expanding nationwide a modification to our return policy for Bed Bath & Beyond, buybuy BABY and Harmon Face Values that will only affect customers whose purchase cannot be located to process a return, either because the receipt was not provided or because we could not identify the purchase through a query of our transaction records. We have been providing advance notice of the upcoming change to our customers via signs and handouts in our stores, encouraging customers to hold onto their receipts to avoid being impacted by this change in any manner. Customers making returns with a gift receipt or returning items from their gift registry for which we have a record will not be affected by this change. At Bed Bath & Beyond, we pride ourselves on providing customers with a noticeably better shopping experience and modifications such as this will allow us to continue to deliver exceptional service in the future.”