Walmart taps FedEx for at-home Christmas return service

Returns can also be dropped off at FedEx locations

Christmas is still days away, but Walmart is already preparing to streamline the process of returns in order to mitigate the surge in crowds after the holiday.

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On Monday, the retail behemoth launched a return service with FedEx in which customers can send back a product without having to leave their homes.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WMTWALMART INC.147.52+1.31+0.90%
FDXFEDEX CORPORATION249.68-3.75-1.48%

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With Carrier Pickup by FedEx, customers can schedule a return for any item that was shipped and sold by Walmart.com for free, Linne Fulcher, the company's vice president of customer strategy, science and journeys, said in a blog post.

To initiate the return process, customers have to schedule a date for pickup and print a return label through Walmart's website or app. Their package will then be picked up by a FedEx employee.

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Customers who don't have a printer can select “Drop off at FedEx” as the return method to get a QR return code. Customers can then take their package to a FedEx location, where an associate will scan the QR Code and print a free return label for shipping.

Customers who wish to return any item they bought in-store, online or from a third-party vendor in person can also start their return process online through the Walmart app or website.

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Certain stores will also dedicate specific locations where customers can make returns while maintaining social distancing guidelines, Fulcher said.

"Combined with a year unlike any other, we knew it was time to look at our return policies and processes to ensure they were safe and headache-free," she said.

This isn't the company's first effort in trying to stem the surge in traffic, which could pose a threat to the health of customers, around the holiday season.

In November, Walmart spread out its holiday deals over three weekends rather than holding its traditional one-day Black Friday event in order to reduce crowds in its stores.

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In an effort to steer more shoppers away from its stores, the retailer also advertised that the majority of its major deals will be offered online.