The shopping season is at it’s peak, and manufacturers and retailers are busier than ever.  One may think once December is over, the hectic retail business has grown profitably.  Also that they may get a break from the hustle and bustle.  However, this is not always the case. Although the stores sell merchandise in abundance, they also get a high percentage of items that come back.  There are a a variety of reasons why items may be returned.  An item that is unwanted or broken are often returns, as well as exchanges make the customer service desk at retail stores busier than ever.

It doesn’t stop at the customer service center though.  Once items get returned to stores, what happens to them?  In a perfect world, the item is brought back to the store unopened, in it’s original packaging, and unscathed, and can be put back on the shelf for resale.  Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.  If the item is faulty, it will not be put back onto the shelf.  Perhaps the item is fine, but needs to be repackaged.  There are multiple reasons an item can’t be resold.

In addition, e-commerce has become just as much of the norm for shopping as customers walking into the brick-and-mortar stores.  When items need to be returned from an online shopping experience, there are sometimes options to return the item directly to the store.  But more often than not, the merchandise needs to be shipped back.  When this happens, hopefully the online retailer usually has a logistics procedure to help ease the return hassle.  But then, just as the brick-and-mortar retailer, they need to deal with what to do with the item once returned.

This article discusses these very issues, and what other possibilities are available to these retailers for returns.  Many customers don’t realize the reverse logistics process in retail stores is just as big and complex as the supply chain it took to sell the item and get in their hands.  The retailers must consider customer service, logistics, warehousing, repackaging, reselling, repairing, and more in order to not lose profit at the end of the day.