PayPal has announced the acquisition of Happy Returns, a returns solution company that allows online shoppers to give back unwanted goods to stores without having to pack it up and ship it themselves. Today, the company has over 2,600 drop-offs return locations in the United States, including over 1,200 metro areas and every state.
It also has partnerships with hundreds of brands that use its returns tools and reverse logistics services. As part of PayPal, the company says it will continue to provide the returns experience to online retailers and customers.
Happy Returns, based in Santa Monica, was established in 2015 with the value proposition of removing some of the overhead and expense from the returns process for online retailers. Since online shoppers cannot inspect the products they purchase in person, online retail has higher return rates, especially in apparel. According to Happy Returns, online purchases are three to four times more likely to be returned than in-store purchases.
Meanwhile, today’s retailers must deal with behemoths such as Amazon and Walmart, all of which facilitate easier returns for their consumers through their massive brick-and-mortar footprints — Amazon with Whole Foods’ other sites, and Walmart with its outlets.
Indeed, the increased foot traffic generated by providing an Amazon returns desk or locker system in-store has prompted retailers such as Kohl’s and Stein Mart to welcome the enemy by appealing to shoppers with Amazon returns in their stores.
Today, the Happy Returns solution combines software, services, and logistics to allow retailers to manage returns through their retail stores, carriers, and Happy Returns’ “Return Bar” locations. These are accessible at retail stores like Paper Source, Sur La Table, Cost Plus World Market, and others. Several digitally native brands, including Everlane, Rothy’s, and Parachute Home, have used the service.
Happy Returns has also worked closely with PayPal throughout its history, according to the company. In addition, as part of an $11 million funding round, PayPal made a strategic investment in the company in 2019.
PayPal is not releasing the terms of the transaction. Happy Returns has so far raised $25 million in support.
“This is an extremely exciting achievement for our organization, and it would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of our entire team,” Happy Returns says on its website. “We are proud of our team’s accomplishments and thankful for the tenacity, innovation, and empathy that Happy Returns workers bring to work every day. We are sure that the best is yet to come and look forward to our next chapter as a member of the PayPal family”.
Happy Returns will continue to work with retailers and customers both on and off PayPal’s network after the transaction is completed, according to the company. The company’s co-founders, David Sobie and Mark Geller, as well as its entire 120-person team, will join PayPal and report to Frank Keller, SVP Consumer In-Store and Digital Commerce.