The retail industry produces an unprecedented amount of waste year after year, with much of that driven by customer returns and excess inventory. Each year around 5 billion pounds of returned goods end up in landfills and that doesn’t even include the unsold inventory pulled from shelves that may also be destroyed. This level of waste and the impact it has on the environment has put tremendous pressure on retailers to act accordingly.
Customers are now watching retailers’ sustainability initiatives more closely and purchasing decisions are being driven by those initiatives. Brands and retailers that send unwanted products to landfills are being scrutinized for their actions and are losing customers as a result. Retailers and brands are now looking to establish new, sustainable processes for returns and excess inventory.