How to Organise Return Handling
22 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2003
Date Written: 28 2001 9,
Already for a long time retailers take back products. In this paper we explore the factors contributing to the decision of combining vs. separating inbound and outbound flows during the return handling process. We do so through a comparative analysis of the operations in nine retailer warehouses, which can be divided in three groups: food retailers, department stores and mail order companies. We identify both aggravating factors and facilitating actions for return handling. Furthermore, we bring about recommendations for practice. At the end we put forward propositions that are useful in feeding studies on return handling efficiency. In particular, we conjecture over the impact that return volume and product diversity have on the decision for combining vs. separating the reverse and forward flows.
Keywords: Retailing, product returns, return handling, inbound and outbound flows, case studies
JEL Classification: M, M11, R4, R49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation