‘Avalanche of returns is dragging down profits in an industry living on thin margins’

Erin Brookes

Retailers are adopting a variety of measures to try to soothe the growing returns headache. Alvarez & Marsal’s head of retail Erin Brookes looks at how the challenge is being addressed

Generous returns policies have become the norm in online retail in the last two years, as the pandemic accelerated the shift to ecommerce and convenience emerged as a core value for shoppers around the world.

But many retailers are currently having to rethink that approach amid an ongoing high volume of product returns and increasing pressures from soaring inflation, higher transportation costs and labour shortages.

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