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Online Retailers Are Dealing With Returns By Growing Reverse Logistics

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With holiday e-commerce returns on track to hit $29B this year, reverse logistics is becoming a increasingly important.

Online sellers want to recapture as much value as they can from returned items, and their success depends on how well they manage the speed of returns and to what extent they minimize the costs of receiving and organizing items, GlobeSt reports. The growth of reverse logistics has important implications for retail and industrial real estate, with firms deciding whether to restock, liquidate or destroy returned goods.

Most experts agree online retailers have two basic options: they can build dedicated facilities solely for handling returns, or they can contract the work out to third-party firms. The second option is increasingly more popular, with retailers finding it often saves them money while increasing the value of excess inventory. [GS]