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Return policies in the age of coronavirus: Target suspends returns

As many elements of the shopping experience have been turned on their sides amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus, major retailers are adjusting and extending return periods to give shoppers a break until they can reopen.

But be forewarned: At some retailers that have remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, making a return isn’t as simple as it used to be.

Some are suspending returns.

Target announced in a blog post Wednesday that “to be extra cautious,” it will temporarily “stop accepting in-store product returns and exchanges for the next three weeks.” The Minneapolis-based retailer says if you have a return expiring during that period, it’ll be honored “three weeks past the holding period.”

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Sucharita Kodali, a retail analyst at Forrester, said she thinks this is likely the first time in industry history when retailers, which tried to appeal to shoppers with easy return policies, are acting like airlines by making necessary changes that won’t be popular with shoppers.

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