MADRID (Reuters) - Fashion giant Zara has started charging shoppers in Spain for returns of online purchases, the company announced on Wednesday, though store returns remain free.
Customers now have to pay 1.95 euros ($2.13) if they wish to return pieces from home, with the cost deducted from their refund, Zara said on its Spanish website.
However, items bought online can still be returned for free at physical stores, it added.
As the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a boom in online shopping, customers became used to buying items to try at home since returns were often free, which raised costs for retailers.
Inditex, which owns Zara, will also introduce return charges in Spain for its other brands such as Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear.
Early last year, Zara introduced charges for some online returns in Britain and other core markets, following similar measures from rivals such as Uniqlo or Next.
There is also an environmental impact from the delivery vehicles involved in transporting the clothes and the European Commission wants to reduce the high percentage of returns of clothing bought online.
Inditex expects online sales to exceed 30% of total sales by 2024.
($1 = 0.9163 euros)
(Reporting by Corina Pons; Editing by Josie Kao)