The generous approach of German retailers to returns is costing them billions, according to a new report.

A survey by the University of Bamberg found that around 280 million parcels and 487 million articles were returned in Germany in 2018. This amounted to 16% of parcels delivered and 12% of products ordered being returned.

The total cost to the industry is around €5.46 billion, with respondents citing postage and transport costs, loss of item values and labour costs associated with…