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Until recently, many grocery retailers had pretty loose return policies, but that’s all changed since COVID-19. According to a CDC report on coronavirus, COVID-19 can live on surfaces for hours or days. With this in mind, retailers are taking extra steps to prevent the spread of disease by suspending returns on all or specified high-demand items. Because of this, shoppers should use caution when buying more than what they might need.
On the flip-side, when it comes to necessary returns on certain products (mostly, non-grocery items), other retailers are sticking by their satisfaction guarantees and are extending return and refund windows due to their brick-and-mortar store closures.
Currently, Costco is not accepting returns of toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizing wipes, water, rice, and disinfecting spray. It’s not clear how long this policy will be in place at this time.
See the updated Costco return policy.
Walmart is temporarily not accepting returns for certain items like food, paper goods, home cleaning supplies, laundry soap, pharmacy, health & beauty, and apparel at this time. When returns for those items reopen, you’ll be able to return any purchases within six weeks from the reopening date.
Check with your local Walmart for updates, as most stores operate under store manager’s discretion.
See the updated Walmart return policy.
Kroger is making it clear that they value safety and has suspended returns on food, cosmetics, and apparel (clothing, shoes, and accessories) — this includes refunds, store credits, and exchanges. The exception is if any fresh items you’ve purchased don’t meet Kroger’s freshness standards.
This Kroger return policy update applies to all Kroger family stores including:
- City Market
- Food 4 Less
- Foods Co.
- Fred Meyer
- Harris Teeter
- King Soopers
- Jay C Food Store
- Owens Market
- Pay-Less Super Markets
- Smith’s Food and Drug
See the current Kroger return policy.
On March 20, 2020 Albertsons emailed customers to explain changes to its store operations, including the suspension of all returns. There is no known end date to this new policy.
This Albertsons return policy update applies to all Albertsons family stores including:
- Jewel Osco
- Tom Thumb
- United Supermarkets
See the updated Albertsons return policy and emailed statement.
Publix is currently suspending refunds on products purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are continuing to honor their Publix Guarantee for products that don’t meet their quality standards.
See the updated Publix return policy.
On Mar. 27, Target announced they would stop accepting in-store product returns and exchanges for three weeks. Those restrictions have been lifted.
According to their return policy, if you made a purchase from March 26 – April 26, you had until June 15 to return an item. If you bought something after April 26, Target’s normal return policy applies. You have 90 days to receive a refund or exchange for most unopened items in new condition. Check your receipt for details and contact your local store for more return information.
See the current Target return policy.
Due to COVID-19, all non-prescription sales were final for time, but those restrictions have been loosened. CVS’ current return policy states that “Most new, unopened items purchased from CVS Pharmacy or CVS.com can be returned to any CVS Pharmacy store within 60 days….”
CVS has also made it clear that their stores reserve the right to refuse refunds or exchanges for non-prescription items.
See the current CVS return policy.
Amazon temporarily extended return windows as a COVID-19 response. Most items that were ordered through Amazon or seller partners between March 1 and April 30 could be returned until May 31, 2020. For items bought after April 30, the normal return window applies, which is typically 30 days from the date you received your order.
Get more information during the COVID-19 pandemic on the Amazon returns blog page.
A temporary Apple return policy was put into place during COVID-19 store closures. Apple accepted returns up to 14 days after their stores reopened for any items purchased 14 days before locations were officially shut down, March 13th. If your local Apple store hasn’t reopened yet, this policy is still in place.
If you’ve made a purchase since your local store has reopened, the standard Apple return policy will apply, which is 14 calendar days from the date you received your item.
Purchases that were made at Best Buy between March 1 and March 17 had an extended return window until May 31, 2020 — excluding items from third-party sellers (like cellphone and mobile plans) and appliances.
Best Buy’s return and exchange window now begins the day you receive your product, and depending on your member status, most products can be returned up to 15 days (30 days for My Best Buy Elite members and 45 days for Elite Plus members).
Currently, returns and exchanges at the store are available through Best Buy’s contactless curbside pickup.
See the updated Best Buy return policy.
Macy’s return policy, in response to coronavirus, has been extended by 30 days after stores reopen. If you made a purchase online, you can return your item by mail or at a store. Purchases made in a store, must be returned at a store location. Macy’s stores that have curbside pickup can’t accept returns via curbside at this time.
See if your Macy’s store location has reopened.
See the updated Macy’s return policy.
Sephora will accept returns on products with receipts purchased before February 15, 2020 in stores for 30 days after stores reopen. Sephora has extended the online and mail return period from 30 days to 60 days from date of purchase.
See the updated Sephora return policy.
The Gap family of companies has extended their return window due to concerns about coronavirus. Any purchases made between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020 will be accepted for returns until July 1, 2020.
Make sure items are in original condition for returns to Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. Athleta and Hill City will still accept gently used items. No returns or exchanges will be accepted on final sale items.
This Gap return policy update applies to all Gap family stores including:
- Old Navy
- Banana Republic
- Hill City
See the updated Gap return policy.
J.Crew has extended their return policy for purchases made between March 1 and April 30. Those purchases can be returned through June 30. Items purchased starting May 1 will have a 60-day return window. J.Crew will accept returns of unworn, unwashed, undamaged, or defective merchandise.
See the updated J.Crew return policy.
Victoria’s Secret isn’t currently accepting returns in their stores. Once the majority of store locations reopen, they’ll open up returns with an extended return window. Customers who made purchases after December 17, 2019, will have 60 days after stores reopen to make a return.
For online purchases, Victoria’s Secret has extended their return policy for 30 additional days until further notice. If you have the original receipt, you can return merchandise within 120 days of purchase and get a refund to the original form of payment. Returns without a receipt will be refunded with a store gift card.
See the updated Victoria’s Secret return policy.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond and BuyBuyBaby suspended all returns until May 15, 2020. They’ve started accepting returns and exchanges again for stores that have reopened (this doesn’t include locations that still only have curbside pickup).
They’ve also extended returns by 60 days for all purchases made on or after February 20.
See the updated Bed Bath & Beyond return policy.
Family Dollar temporarily suspended their return and exchange policy due to coronavirus, but have since opened it back up. Most items can be returned up to 30 days after purchase.
See the updated Family Dollar return policy.
Foot Locker is offering a 30-day return extension for purchases made on or after February 1. Any items bought in store or online can be returned up to 30 days after stores reopen. Some Foot Locker locations have started reopening — check your local Foot Locker location for details.
See the updated Foot Locker return policy.
These stores haven’t updated their return policies
Return items to any Sam’s Club location or ship items back by calling Member Services at 1-888-746-7726. Some alcohol, tobacco products, and contact lens purchases must be returned at the location where they were purchased.
Return most products purchased from Walgreens.com or stores within 30 days of purchase, as long as you have your receipt. For Walgreens brand products, return the unused portion and get a 100% refund, including shipping.