Lily Ella founder Zoe is interviewed by the BBC….

On Saturday 12th January our TV screens were graced with an appearance from Zoe, who was interviewed by the BBC. zoe BBC

The BBC were running a piece on the morning news about ‘returns season’, which is how, according to the Office for National Statistics, up to 25% of Christmas shopping is returned, with the percentage often increasing for internet shopping, and with up to 50% of women’s clothing purchases being returned for refund.  The interview focused on this busy time of year for retailers and chose to showcase Lily Ella  – ‘picking, packing and mailing out’ and explored what’s involved behind the scenes in the returns process.  The piece was put together by the BBC’s Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Coletta Smith.


 One aspect of internet shopping is the propensity for customers to over order – i.e. they might pick multiple choices of style, or multiple sizes, but they only intend keeping maybe one item from their order.   The rest of the order is sent back for refund.  This has implications for the way companies order stock as they know a certain percentage of parcels will always be expected back for refund.  Savvy retailers are, of course, aware of this and build returns into their business plans.  It’s all part and parcel (see what we did there?) of running a mail order business. 

 As an increasingly recognised mail order and online retailer, we were delighted to be approached for an interview.  The cameraman, producer Marta and Coletta came along on Thursday 11th January to the Lily Ella offices and interviewed Zoe in the warehouse, they also filmed our warehouse team hard at work, to show what’s involved behind the scenes where returns are concerned.  This is a particularly busy time of year as we are in the middle of our end of year Clearance Sale and returns were duly filmed being delivered back to us, all ready for processing!  The piece was aired on national television throughout Saturday.  Did you catch it?

ann marie

 We should mention that it is not our experience that Lily Ella customers hugely over order with a view to returning items!  Of course, we know returns are an inherent part of the business and we pride ourselves on always processing returns, exchanges and refunds quickly.  It’s also our experience that once customers are familiar with our sizing, they are confident about which size to order, so they generally only tend to order what they need. And don’t forget our very helpful and friendly customer service staff are always on hand to guide you in the right direction!


The exception to the rule in over ordering is that sometimes people order more than they mean to during a sale because they just get carried away!  That’s fine by us (who doesn’t love a bargain?) and there’s always a good chance that Lily Ella customers will keep all of their sale purchases.  Now is a great time of year to have a ‘wardrobe audit’ Marie Kondo style, take a look at your clothes, decide on what ‘gives you joy’, what you can refresh, re-style and recycle, and start planning what you are going to add to your wardrobe for the season ahead.  We do understand that some returns are going to be involved in this process!


It’s back to the routine this week for Zoe, who is now preparing for the launch of our upcoming new Spring 2019 Collection on 28th January, and busy working on designs for Autumn Winter 2019.  Watch this space!



Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.