- UPS plans to acquire Happy Returns from PayPal, bolstering its label-free returns, the company announced Wednesday.
- U.S.-based Happy Returns' software and operations will help UPS offer customers a full stack of solutions that facilitate frictionless returns, according to a press release. UPS expects the service will soon be available at more than 12,000 locations in the U.S.
- Happy Returns CEO and co-founder David Sobie will continue to lead the business for UPS if the deal clears regulators. The companies expect the deal will close sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.
UPS is continuing to build its logistics-as-a-service offering — one of its five pillars in building a robust reverse logistics business — this time with an acquisition.
Together, UPS and Happy Returns will help provide "easy digital experience and established drop-off points with UPS’s small package network and footprint of close to 5,200 The UPS Store locations," UPS CEO Carol Tomé said in a press release.
Using it’s returns portal, Happy Returns offers box-free returns that are shipped and sorted before being sent back to its more than 800 merchant customers.
The news comes at a pivotal time for UPS, which is preparing to handle millions of returns during and after the 2023 holiday shopping season.
UPS has tried out new reverse logistics strategies around this time in the past, such as in 2022 when it launched a pilot program with Overstock.com where customers could have product returns picked up at home without reboxing the product. In the months that followed, UPS said it expected more than 70 million returns related to that year's holiday shopping season.
Happy Returns detailed how it could expand and accelerate its returns business with UPS in a company blog post on Wednesday.
The company said UPS’ capacity and its business operations are what make its sale to the delivery giant appealing. While UPS handles millions of packages every day, Happy Returns handles the same amount in one month. The delivery giant has also advanced its box-free, in-person drop off to a third-party network with leading brands and has been able to leverage automation with its automated package sorting facility in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We are eager to compare notes and innovate together to make the shopper experience better, reduce return costs for merchants and lower the carbon footprint of return shipping,” Happy Returns said in the blog post.