The other side of Christmas shopping: $100 billion returns
UPS, B-stock and Optoro estimate post-holiday returns, with a minority of 10 percent to make it back to “primary shelves.”
Shipping carriers and reverse logistics providers are ready to capitalize on post-holiday returns. The technology company, Oporto, operates with retailers and predicts a $100 billion over the holiday season (from Thanksgiving all through the end of January). The amount is up to $6 billion from last year. This year, UPS estimates 1.9 million returned packages, 26 percent higher than the previous year.
As stated on a report from marketplace platform B-stock, 77 percent of consumers expect to return part of their gifts this season. The platform forecasts nearing figures to Oporto’s, with $90 billion worth of stock coming back to retailers post-holiday and less than 10 percent of that merchandise to reappear on “primary shelves.”
Primary shelf space is spared for “brand new” merchandise or for the restocking of shelves. “For apparel, the great majority of returns end up on secondary channels,” stated Marcus Shen, chief operating officer of B-Stock, according to WWD. The marketplace platform specializes in returned, excess and other liquidation merchandise. A few of the company’s clients include Amazon, Macy’s, Target, Costco Wholesale.
The post-holiday season is the festive season for secondhand marketplaces. “For 2020, in general, the first quarter for the year is really crucial for us, especially January as well as February and March,” said resale marketplace Mercari’s chief executive officer John Lagerling, as reported in WWD.
As for B-stock, the quantity of truckloads of returned merchandise doubles from January throughout March. “Our buyers are buying in bulk and selling on Poshmark, The RealReal, eBay,” said Shen from B-Stock.
Regardless of the growth of “responsible retail”, only a few consumers surveyed by Optoro reflected on the environmental impact that returns have. According to the tech company, the shipment of returned merchandise in the US effuses more than 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
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