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Should Xmas returns windows be extended?

Has lockdown thwarted your chance of getting a refund for an unwanted gift? Do you think the extra returns period should be extended again as a result?

Whether you received the same book twice or unwrapped a jumper that’s not quite to your taste, you might be looking to return some of your Christmas gifts or purchases made over the festive season.

Most retailers extended their Christmas returns windows, giving you more time to take back any unwanted items in January.

Consumer Rights guide: returns and refunds

But lockdown restrictions, which have forced the lion’s share of high street shops to close, mean you probably won’t be able to make your return in time.

Some shops might allow you to make returns via the post, but not all will offer this option.

And with government guidance stating you should only leave home for essential trips, you might think twice before joining the lengthy Post Office queue.

Are you waiting to return an item?
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M&S extends its returns window

Earlier this week, M&S customers complained on Twitter after the retailer revealed it wouldn’t be extending its Christmas returns window.

It advised customers to return items to its foodhalls, which are allowed to remain open in lockdown, by 31 January.

Some customers rightfully pointed out they’d have to travel quite a distance to reach their nearest M&S foodhall, breaking government guidance that says you should stay local, while other vulnerable customers were also understandably hesitant to travel.

We got in contact with M&S about the issue and it has since extended its Christmas returns window

Any non-sale purchases made between 4 October and 31 December 2020 can now be returned up until 28 February 2021.

M&S has also extended its returns window for purchases made from Jan 1st to 90 days.

Are you waiting to make a return?

We want to hear of any other retailers that haven’t yet extended their festive returns window.

If you’re struggling to get your money back, or are being asked to break lockdown rules to make your return, comment below and we’ll try to help.

Do you need to return an item to a shop? If so, how are you going about it?

Have you received any proactive communication from shops about returns windows being extended?


I have a sauté pan branded Raymond Blanc with a 10-year guarantee bought in-store from Debenhams 5 years ago, cost £60.

The non-stick interior is no longer non-stick.

I stopped using it about 6 months ago, have already replaced it and was intending to take it back to Debenhams once Covid had passed. As Debenhams is closing down, that is no longer an option.

I have had a very unfruitful online chat with a Debenhams person who ignored my ‘Sale of Goods Act’ words and said I should go to the Raymondblanc website. A search tells me this is a waste of time.

Any suggestions?

You could try this, alfa:

Raymond Blanc Kitchenware Customer Assistance

Raymond Blanc Kitchenware is part of Meyer Group Ltd. Our company details are:

Address: Wirral International Business Park, Riverview Road, Bromborough, Wirral, CH62 3RH, UK.

Customer Telephone: 0151 482 8282

Trade Telephone: 0151 482 8180

Email: customerservices@meyeruk.com

A bit late, but thanks malcolm worth a go, although other people don’t seem to have had much luck.

I avoided giving Christmas gifts that might have to be sent back in the present difficult circumstances. I either gave money or did not exchange gifts this year.

I understand why Marks & Spencer and other retailers have extended their returns period but I would not want to buy anything that could have been in someone’s home for months. For my own use I ordered from M&S and other retailers in late October and I’m not planning to have to buy anything other than groceries until March, if I can avoid it.

Geoff Uttley says:
18 January 2021

I bought my wife some knitwear from Edinburgh Wool Shop in Llandudno for Christmas. As it is closing down I confirmed at the time of purchase that I could exchange it if necessary, before they closed completely. I gave them to her with the price tags still attached. One of the 4 items is not to her liking, and still has the original price tag attached, but I have been unable to return it for exchange due to shop lockdown here in Wales. How do I go about allowing her to choose an alternative, and make the transaction?

Hi Geoff – If you are referring to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill you could try contacting it using the information on this page: https://www.ewm.co.uk/contact

The company went into administration on 5 November, so there could be problems with getting an exchange or a refund.

Margaret Bentley says:
19 January 2021

I have two items to return to Debenhams, purchased in store before Christmas, as presents.
In a web chat I have been told that they can only be returned to the store, when it re-opens.

When their stores reopen you may be offered a gift voucher for returned goods. As you may know, Debenhams are in administration, so it would be advisable to choose another product in case vouchers become worthless. Best of luck, Margaret.

I have a gift box from Jo Malone but don’t use the kind of items it contains. I have a 90 day gift receipt but it will expire before lockdown ends. I want to exchange the gift but have contacted customer service to no avail. They were difficult to find and have not replied.

Since the gift box remains in the ownership of the donor perhaps you could offer it back to them for redemption!

That’s an interesting thought, John. People often give gifts they would like to receive themselves.

I bought a gift from an Adidas store in October, with a 90 day refund policy to store. The store was not allowed to open before the 90days was up. I contacted customer services who told me to take it back when the store is open, which potentially will be 5-6mths after initial purchase. Unfortunately I don’t have a record of the phono convo so will have to chance it when the store opens.

Hi Kate – I suggest you contact the store again. You could ask them to let you have an email confirming that you can still get a refund when the store reopens.

I have done this in other circumstances, for example when I have been made an offer on the phone but wanted confirmation in writing.