Yodel subsidiary CollectPlus is processing and delivering around 5,000 parcels back to House of Fraser customers free of charge, following the retailer’s collapse into administration and its sale to Sports Direct.

The move follows confirmation from the administrator that customers submitting claims for a refund would be treated as unsecured creditors and “only receive a very modest recovery” against the amount claimed.

CollectPlus has been unable to access House of Fraser’s outsourced warehouse in order to return the items, all of which had been sent via the CollectPlus network on or after 8 August.

The firm is partnering with Clipper Logistics on the project, which involves opening every parcel in a secure environment and identifying the rightful owner via the returns note. Each order will then be repackaged and relabelled before being sent back to the customer.

Neil Ashworth, Yodel chief commercial officer and CEO of CollectPlus, said; “Through no fault of their own, customers of House of Fraser have been caught in the middle of the retailer’s collapse, with items that they have bought and paid for being refused by the returns warehouse.

“The administrators have now confirmed that refunds are unlikely, and so CollectPlus has taken the decision to return items back to customers free of charge, so that they are not left empty handed.”

The company said in a statement that it had hoped that the warehouses would reopen, and the returns processed as usual, following Sports Direct’s deal with the administrator. “However it has become clear that customers returning items are unlikely to receive a refund,” it added.

Ashworth said: “We believe we are doing the right thing by the customer.”