- After being acquired by PayPal earlier this year, Happy Returns has teamed up with office products retailer Staples to set up its in-person return service within more than a thousand Staples stores across the U.S., PayPal and Happy Returns said in a press release Wednesday.
- PayPal's Happy Returns will kick off its partnership with Staples in California, but the company will add new locations across the country daily, a spokesperson for the company said. With the service, shoppers can return the items they purchased online at participating Staples locations for an immediate refund or exchange without a box or label, according to the press release.
- Thanks to the Staples deal, the company said that 75% of Americans will reside within 10 miles of a Happy Returns location.
The collaboration between Happy Returns and Staples brings the total Happy Returns retail footprint to more than 3,800 locations, per the company’s press release. While Happy Returns is tapping into Staples’ national retail footprint and existing shipping services, Staples could benefit from foot traffic as Happy Returns customers visit Staples locations, the spokesperson said in an email to Payments Dive.
“Returns are an essential part of the shopping experience, particularly for online retail, and shoppers overwhelmingly prefer to return box free in person rather than deal with the hassle and wait of returns by mail.” David Sobie, vice president of Happy Returns, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Staples U.S. Retail significantly increases the availability of in-person drop off points for online shoppers and gives retailers a more cost-effective way to manage their reverse logistics.”
Payments companies have been making multiple notable acquisitions lately, particularly in the returns space. The collaboration with Staples follows PayPal’s acquisition of Happy Returns in May. In a similar move, Affirm bought the returns startup Returnly for $300 million in April.
PayPal has been busy with other acquisitions this year too, joining a payments buying binge. In March, it also acquired Curv, an Israeli digital asset startup, for an undisclosed sum, and earlier this month it bought Paidy, a Japanese installment payment platform, for $2.7 billion.
Retailers have been grappling in recent years with how to make returns easier for consumers, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and healthier for the environment. In the past, returns have been cited as harmful to the environment as well as a headache for retailers.
Online returns more than doubled between 2019 and 2020 as the pandemic triggered a surge in online shopping, with e-commerce returns driving the overall rise last year, per a January report from the National Retail Federation,