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Department stores expect holiday returns

Kohl’s area supervisor Tina Mccollum anticipates shoppers to return items to the department store located at 1630 Dogwood Dr. Southeast in Conyers. The store will stick to its regular return policy. Shoppers who return the item with a receipt will receive the refund by way it was purchased, either cash or card. Those without a receipt or a gift receipt may receive in-store credit. (Staff photo: Julie Wells)

Kohl’s area supervisor Tina Mccollum anticipates shoppers to return items to the department store located at 1630 Dogwood Dr. Southeast in Conyers. The store will stick to its regular return policy. Shoppers who return the item with a receipt will receive the refund by way it was purchased, either cash or card. Those without a receipt or a gift receipt may receive in-store credit. (Staff photo: Julie Wells)

CONYERS — Starting today Christmas presents that are the wrong size, wrong color or just not right for any other reason will be heading back to the stores. Consumers should know that in some cases it may not be easy to return unwanted gifts.

According to the National Retail Federation, 28 percent of stores surveyed change their return policies for the holidays, while most of them — 72 percent — keep them the same year round.

Special holiday policies will sometimes extend the normal return period into January or even February. Conyers Kohl’s area supervisor Tina McCollum said the department store’s return policy is among those that will be the same as for any other time of the year.

“If the customer has a receipt, they will receive the refund by the way they paid for it. If it’s a gift receipt or a customer doesn’t have their receipt, they will receive in-store credit,” McCollum said.

Kohl’s, located at 1630 Dogwood Drive Southeast, opened at 6 a.m. today and will close at midnight.

Heather Faichney, one of the managers at Belk department store in Conyers, said Belk is able to turn most of its returns into exchanges.

“Of course, we get a lot of returns every season, but we turn it around to an exchange,” Faichney said. “Grandmothers like to buy things for grandchildren that might not work out. Customers can exchange it for the price or pay the difference for another item.”

Faichney said returns for those who have a gift receipt can either receive the full price or in-store credit. If the customer doesn’t have a receipt, the lowest sale price in the last 60 days will given, Faichney said.

ConsumerWorld.org found a few popular stores have tightened restrictions for goods like electronics and appliances.

Best Buy cut its regular return period in half from 30 to 15 days for most customers last March, and shortened its holiday return period by nine days.

Sears shortened its regular return policy for major appliances and vacuums from 60 to 30 days, and excludes them from its extended holiday return period.

More unusual return policies can be found at www.consumerworld.org.