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Product Returns - April 2nd

Product Returns - April 2nd


In its second year, this workshop will bring together academics and retailers to reflect on new knowledge, new research findings and the latest learnings related to the challenge of managing products returned to physical stores from an online sale. With the online market growing at a rapid rate, the scale and volumes being returned is growing exponentially. In fact, retailers in this group have shared that over 50% of what their shoppers have bought online is actually then being returned to one of their physical stores, often, from the shopper point of view "for free" and yet as the ECR Report identified, there is a considerable cost for retalers to handle these returns, and for many this cost is not offset by the growth in sales from the shopper traffic that returns to stores can generate.  

For this workshop, the agenda will include presentations of new academic research, interactive exercises, brainstorming and retailer case studies on returns management, where the aim is to shed new light and seek new insights on the recurring themes related to product returns.

  • What is the true cost of a product return?
  • To what extent could the ECR returns cost calculator help organisations make more profitable choices?
  • What measures are proving to be helping reduce the scale of the product returns from an online sale?
  • How can cost, error and complexity be reduced in product returns? Does the lean thinking management approach help? What role for new technology?
  • Fraudulent returns, what is the scale and nature of this problem, wardrobing, etc and what measures are proving effective at reducing fraudulent returns?
  • How are organisations organising themselves to deliver an holistic and balanced products returns strategy?
  • How are organisations connecting the work on returns to the circular economy and refurbishment business models such as ThredUp?

Alongside academia, and based on the 2019 list of participants, leaders from customer service, store operations, marketing and loss prevention are expected from organisations such as River Island, Reiss, JD Sports, Asda, Tesco, Boots, Halfords, QVC, John Lewis, Mango, Zara and M&S.

The draft agenda will be shared in early 2020, however to register, please click here. Note, this is a retailer only workshop. There is no cost to attend.