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Reverse logistics, the new service for returned or unsold products

We talk about: Sustainable fashion
23 January 2024

We tend to think that a product reaches the end of its life cycle the moment it is in the hands of the end customer. But what happens if the customer returns it, or the product remains unsold in the store? In such cases, products that have reached the end of their life cycle can generate new revenue for manufacturer brands through reverse logistics.

What is the meaning of reverse logistics?

Reverse logistics, or inverse logistics, is a set of processes for managing the flow of goods from the point of sale, or from the end customer, back along the supply chain and for giving value back to products.

A product returned due to a dissatisfied customer, or unsold due to excess stock or because the collection has become obsolete, is an asset to be enhanced.

Items can be repaired if defective, or they can be transformed and reused, or even placed back into secondary or alternative markets to the original ones.

This brings considerable benefits to a brand:

  • disposal of excess stock
  • recoup economic value
  • extend the life cycle of products
  • avoid the use of new resources
  • improve its image.

Indeed, while reverse logistics enables better control of warehouse stock, it almost inevitably brings active engagement towards environmental sustainability goals with it. And that, today, is a major competitive advantage. An essential prerequisite is to choose organised and reliable companies as partners, which have established the necessary skills to manage outsourced reverse logistics processes.

M&A Export services for reverse logistics

At M&A Export we have integrated our offer dedicated to manufacturing brands in the fashion industry with a reverse logistics service. More specifically, we can take care of both goods returned by end customers and products withdrawn from points of sale because of season or collection changes.

In some cases, especially when dealing with e-commerce returns, it is the brands themselves that make an initial batching, so the goods we receive in our warehouse are already sorted. We subsequently process them according to the repackaging and shipping instructions provided by the brand.

In other cases, we receive unsorted goods, so, on the one hand we make the selection of products to be placed back in alternative markets through our channels and, on the other hand, of products destined for secondary markets of the same brand. Through the terminals and devices provided, the selection is always done in accordance with the brand’s indications, and the same applies to labelling, packaging, batching and shipping. At M&A Export, we always pay the utmost attention to brand protection policies.

We withdraw summer collections from September to December, and winter collections from March to June. In this way, obsolete products do not remain stored in the warehouse and do not have to be inventoried.

At the same time, we can make a final selection among the goods destined for our channels. Products that are no longer marketable are sent to textile waste reuse and recycling processes, thanks to our collaboration with Corertex, M&A Export’s partner for environmental sustainability.

If you would like to learn more about our reverse logistics services, contact us now.