Walmart revamps its return service

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Reports estimate that as many as 30 percent of all online purchases are later returned and any hassle in doing so can be a major deterrent to consumers considering shopping online. Shareholders looking to interpret historical returns should keep one caveat in mind: you can't assume that the future will be like the past. And, it seems the big-box retailer is onto something.

The new Mobile Express Returns process for items bought at Walmart.com will start with a customer using the the store's mobile app. Refunds will be credited as soon as the next day.

The larger grocery retailer in the US has also said that it is expecting to add another 1,000 locations for shipping grocery orders made online during its 2019 fiscal year.

The new mobile returns service will be available first for Walmart.com purchases, with in-store purchases added early next year.

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Making it easy for customers is so important to the Bentonville, Arkansas, retailer that in December, some items no longer wanted will not even have to be returned.

Return on Assets, which is expressed as a percentage, tells us how well a public company is using its assets to turn a profit.

The service, called mobile express returns, builds on Wal-Mart's previous creation of express lanes for its in-store pharmacy and money services areas. In particular, the company has a bold plan to slash the average time to process a return in its stores from five minutes to a mere 30 seconds, as described by CNBC. It's also rolled out curbside pickup of online grocery orders in about 1,000 of its US stores, putting it way ahead of rival Target Corp., which only offers the service for non-perishable items in its hometown of Minneapolis. He said what Wal-Mart is doing is trying to take advantage of being brick and mortar by loosening the return policy and getting people into their store.

And bucking the trend in a retail industry where many rivals are paring their store fleets, Walmart said it plans to open a few more stores: it expect to open fewer than 15 SuperCenters in the US next year, a small uptick to be sure, but additional physical facilities to support its roughly $15 billion a year e-commerce business. Wal-Mart has said that in some markets, the online grocery offering brings in customers who've never shopped at the retailer before.

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