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Webinar Slides Retailers Get Religion On Returns


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Date of PublicationJune 1, 2023

These are the slides from the March 30, 2023 Webinar called “Retailers Get Religion on Returns”.  This included a global retail economic update as well as updated retail sales information.  Then we delved into the costs and highlights from the report with the same name.

What was once just a reasonable cost of doing business, retail returns have become a massive problem for retailers with the rapid growth of online sales and increases in outright fraud. With the expected slowdown in consumer spending and higher inflation, retailers are beginning to focus both time and technology on the issue of returns, with hopes of regaining lost margins. In 2015 the total value of merchandise returns was estimated at $643 billion globally. By the end of 2019 this figure had increased to over $1 trillion worldwide. And in 2022, the costs of returns have been estimated to approach $1 trillion in costs to retailers a year in North America alone with Retail and Hospitality segments.

The current growth is unsustainable, not just for the environment, but for retailer profits. Retailers face significant challenges when it comes to managing returns. Every returned item represents a loss of margin, even if it can be resold.

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