shutterstock_2163586301 (1)

Rising shipping costs have prompted online fashion retailer Boohoo to become the latest business to announce it is introducing charges on returned items.

Analysts predict more will quickly follow suit.

A Boohoo spokeswoman said: “As the cost of shipping has increased, we’ve had to look at where we can adapt without compromising what our customers love most, the convenience of shopping with us and the great value that our brands offer.

“This has meant that we will be applying a charge of £1.99 to returns so that we can continue to offer great prices and products and do this in a more sustainable way.”

ParcelHero said it was likely Boohoo had been planning the move for some months.

“As long ago as May, when Zara revealed it was introducing return shipping fees, Boohoo’s decision became inevitable,” said David Jinks, ParcelHero head of consumer research.

“The company had previously complained about the level of exceptionally high returns and we predicted, logically, it may become one of the next retailers to introduce a returns charge.”

ParcelHero added that with the Covid online sales bubble deflating, free returns were becoming too much for retailers to absorb.