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It’s a question many consumers don’t think about, but it’s a concern for all apparel brands and retailers: what to do with returned clothes? For most retailers, returned clothes means a loss to the bottom line for a few reasons. First, fashion trends are no longer seasonal or yearly. Changes in fashion happen weekly, just ask speciality retailers like H&M and Zara, who receive new shipments of clothes every week. If someone buys a shirt online the first week of November and returns it a few weeks later, that item is now a month old and is no longer considered fashionable. Major retailers don’t want to tarnish their trendy appeal by remarketing clothing considered out of style. Plus, returned clothes might be slightly damaged, with a missing button or a slight stain. If merchandise is returned damaged, it can’t be resold as “new.” Last, dealing with returned fashion is expensive when you consider the shipping, warehousing and processing.
The business of dealing with returned clothing is huge: according to The Economist, “Logistics giants are vying with each other to make returns as speedy and simple as possible.” For example, FedEx spent $1.4 billion in 2015 to buy GENCO, a specialist in reverse logistics (GENCO is now known as FedEx Supply Chain). Business offerings such as this provide software to help warehouse employees know where merchandise needs to go next. When major fashion retailers choose to resell their merchandise, they are gaining opportunities to recoup losses on returned apparel. Certain major retailers are already reaping the benefits by using online marketplaces such as B-Stock Solutions to remarket apparel in the secondary fashion market.
Here at B-Stock, we fully understand fashion retailers concerns: they don’t want their brand tarnished by selling out-of-fashion or slightly damaged clothes. There is a solution to this problem, such as our fully customizable, online auction marketplaces. Our marketplaces allow you to recover losses on your returned/excess items while give you the brand control you desire. For example, you can place restrictions on who has access to buy the merchandise (export only) and how it must be handled (de-labeled before resale).
Let us create a viable solution for you. For more information on some of the brands we’re working with and how we’ve tailored a solution specifically for them, please contact us.