Although already high rates of merchandise returns are climbing during the COVID-19 pandemic, strategies are available to mitigate the impact.

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Marcus Shen, COO of B-Stock, a platform that assists e-commerce retailers by directly connecting them to online auctions for liquidations, returns and overstock. The company’s network includes dozens of online liquidation marketplaces with thousands of listings open for bidding across all product categories.

“According to the National Retail Federation, consumers returned roughly $428 billion in merchandise in 2020, or about 10.6% of total retail sales in the U.S.,” said Shen. “Clothing made up about 12.2% of that. For every $1 billion in sales, the average retailer incurs $106 million in merchandise returns.

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