Reverse logistics

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Note from the editor

Returns have long been a thorn in retailers' sides, from the cost of shipping, to the work of restocking inventory.

That thorn got sharper with the growth of e-commerce. Consumers ordered items in more sizes and more colors — and returned what didn't fit.

Returns are retailers' reality, and they face a choice: Fine tune their reverse logistics, or risk the losses that come with returns.

The stories below examine strategies for reverse logistics and returns.

Shefali Kapadia Lead Editor

Macy's plan to speed up its supply chain starts with inventory management

Integrating store and warehouse inventory will allow the retailer to increase delivery speed and inventory utilization, according to Dennis Mullahy, chief supply chain officer at Macy's.

• Published July 13, 2021

With the right mindset, returns present opportunity — not just liability

Reverse logistics has been a frequent source of anxiety. It's time to take returns seriously, experts say.

• Published Sept. 19, 2019

Retail supply chains and consumers are at a crossroads with returns

Do retailers need a C-suite position to manage reverse logistics?

• Published April 19, 2021

'Real pressure on supply chains': How major players are balancing costs, speed and a new retail world

Retailers who pivoted to being digital-first businesses have also had to quickly adapt to the volume of returns coming in.

• Published July 7, 2021

How to prep reverse logistics for an upcoming 'flood of returns'

Technology and warehouse worker safety are critical as state reopenings could prompt an uptick in retail returns.

• Published June 23, 2020

How to optimize reverse logistics

Returns have long been a thorn in retailers' sides, from the cost of shipping, to the work of restocking inventory. As order returns increase with the growth of e-commerce, retailers face a choice: Fine tune their reverse logistics, or risk the losses that come with returns.

included in this trendline
  • Macy's plan to speed up its supply chain starts with inventory management
  • 'Real pressure on supply chains': How major players are balancing costs, speed and a new retail world
  • How to prep reverse logistics for an upcoming 'flood of returns'
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.