Santa Monica-based Happy Returns Inc., which takes care of customer refunds for online retailers, claims to save them 20% to 30% on shipping costs. But the company is also pitching itself as a driver of foot traffic for retail at a time when many brick-and-mortar stores are looking for more ways to draw people in.
That’s how Happy Returns sold itself to Cost Plus World Market, a subsidiary of struggling Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. The home goods retailer announced Sept. 24 it would roll out return bars at all 276 stores.
“What we represent is a new way for those stores to use the assets they have and, in a novel way, drive foot traffic and drive value for their stores,” said David Sobie, founder and chief executive of Happy Returns.
The Bed Bath & Beyond deal comes after the company told shareholders earlier this month that it will look at closing underperforming stores and is working with Goldman Sachs & Co. to find alternatives for its other properties, including Cost Plus.
Happy Returns works with more than two dozen online retailers, including shoe seller Rothy’s and ecommerce fashion seller Revolve Group Inc. The return bars allow online shoppers to get a refund on the spot.
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