Reverse Logistics: Reversing the Loop to Achieve Closure

# Title: The Growing Challenge of Product Returns in the Supply Chain Industry

## Description:

In this thought-provoking video, Seth Marks, Chief Merchandising Officer at Channel Control Merchants, sheds light on the major issues faced by logistics providers as they grapple with the increasing volumes of returned products. With the retail value of customer returns reaching a staggering $740 billion in 2021—larger than Walmart, too—this video explores the complex journey that these products undertake once they are returned.

As supply chains primarily focus on the forward movement of products, the reverse logistics side of things is often overlooked. Uncertainty surrounds the fate of returned products, and difficult decisions must be made regarding whether they will return to store shelves, be disposed of, destroyed, sold to resellers, or discounted.

Sustainability and environmental concerns, as well as the rising importance of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), are shining a light on this dark hole in the supply chain. By reducing waste, unnecessary carbon emissions, and excessive movement of goods, the industry is actively working to mitigate this growing problem.

The increasing volume of reverse product flow can be attributed to several factors, one of which is the digital revolution. Online shopping has significantly contributed to higher return rates, with customers ordering multiple sizes or variations of the same product with the intention of returning the unnecessary ones. Touch-and-feel limitations associated with e-commerce fulfillment also contribute to higher return rates compared to physical stores.

The physical side of returns poses unique challenges, with backlogs in warehouses and freight systems causing unprecedented strain on service providers. To tackle this issue, retailers are increasingly relying on third-party logistics partners to optimize space, liberate non-productive inventory, and bring in productive stock. Collaboration and partnership have become crucial in this time of crisis.

Throughout the video, Seth Marks provides valuable insights into the challenges posed by product returns and highlights the innovative role played by Channel Control Merchants in the world of reverse logistics. As a vertically integrated retailer and a reverse logistics retailer, Channel Control Merchants processes and conditions returned items for resale in underserved communities. Their transparent approach and sustainability reporting ensure that returned products find new homes instead of being destroyed, damaged, or burned.

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Seth Marks, chief merchandising officer with Channel Control Merchants, details the major issues that logistics providers are facing as they deal with increasing volumes of returned product.

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