Dec. 21 (UPI) — Walmart announced Monday that shoppers would be able to return unwanted merchandise purchased online without leaving their home.
Customers can schedule a return through a new service, Carrier Pickup by FedEx, and arrange for packages to be collected, the company said in a news release.
“This new return option is not only super-easy but also free, and here to stay beyond the holiday season,” the company said.
Walmart streamlined returns to compete with online giant Amazon, which lets customers return items at some Whole Foods markets, Kohl’s and UPS lockers and stores.
Amazon’s holiday season return policy states that items may be returned “at your own expense” with a credit for up to $20 for shipping applied when the item is received at the processing center, the company said on its website. Broken or defective items are refunded the entire amount, plus shipping, the company said.
The big-box chain announced in a November earnings call that online sales during the pandemic had surged by 79%.
The newest Walmart policy allows customers to print a return label at home and schedule a free pickup by FedEx online through the Walmart app.
Customers who don’t have access to a printer may return the goods by taking the packaged return along with a downloaded QR code to any FedEx Office location, where it will be shipped free of charge, the company said.
Refunds will be credited to customers’ payment account “sometimes as soon as the next day, and same day for in-store returns,” the company said Monday.
The company also said it was diverting return waste from the landfill by recycling 1.9 million pounds of recycled plastic resin from customer returns and using it to manufacture and package other products.