December 15, 2011 15:20 ET

SIRAS Reports Rate of Product Return Climbed 20% for 12 Weeks Leading to Black Friday 2010, Then Dropped Steadily Until Christmas

REDMOND, WA--(Marketwire - Dec 15, 2011) - Consumer electronics purchased on Black Friday and the days immediately before Christmas had the lowest rate of return within 90 days of sale than products purchased at any other time during 2010, according SIRAS®, the Redmond-based provider of product registration, return validation and lifecycle tracking services. The rate of product return within 90 days of purchase increased by about 20% in the 12 weeks between September 1 and Thanksgiving for major consumer electronics retailers last year, and it dropped steadily for purchases made between Thanksgiving and Christmas, to about 10% below the annual average.

"It's interesting that while Black Friday is typically the day with the best holiday promotions, last year it was the days immediately before Christmas that produced the absolute lowest rate of 90-day return," said SIRAS president Peter Junger. "Perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom, those last-minute purchases are the gifts people are most likely keep."

It is too early to know if the pattern will repeat itself in 2011, Junger said, though SIRAS has seen this similar trend in reviewing the two previous years' data. "We need until Dec. 1 to know the rate of return for the 90 days following September 1, and we won't have the full 90-day picture for the holiday season until late March." So far as figures were available for 2011, he stated, rates of return were within typical ranges.

Junger said that for retailers most returns occur within 90 days of sale and that the lower rate of return for the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas interval last year probably meant that more of those sales remained final -- good news to retailers. He also noted that, with respect to return activity, the holiday spirit didn't endure, and the rate of return for the 90-day post purchase period climbed back to annual norms immediately after the New Year. "It was business as usual on January 1," he said.

For more information, contact SIRAS at or 425-497-3300.

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