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Sustainable reverse supply chains and circular economy in multichannel retail returns

Sustainable reverse supply chains and circular economy in multichannel retail returns
Sustainable reverse supply chains and circular economy in multichannel retail returns
The percentage of products being returned in multichannel retail are high and further increasing, yet many retailers and manufacturers are unaware of the importance and scale of this issue. They consider dealing with returns as a cost of doing business, and are oblivious of the potential for conflicts between their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments and their returns practices. This article investigates how far sustainable practices and Circular Economy concepts have been implemented in retail returns systems; it identifies vulnerabilities, barriers and challenges to the implementation of sustainable, circular practices, and suggests ways to overcome them, as sustainability, loss prevention and profit optimisation can go hand in hand with the right approach to the organisation of the reverse supply chain. Implications of this research on strategic management are outlined. The research was conducted using in-depth interviews and observations with 4 major retailers in the UK, 17 structured interviews, 100 retailer website reviews and 3 retail community workshops, all with British and other European retailers.
circular economy, multichannel retail, product returns, reverse logistics, reverse supply chains, sustainability
0964-4733
1925-1940
Frei, Regina
fa00170f-356a-4a0d-8030-d137fd855880
Jack, Lisa
a6ce44ff-fb81-4997-a9fd-772225b587ce
Krzyzaniak, Sally-Ann Caroline
ca10bad7-a2cf-4234-a8b9-9e14a15d67ff
Frei, Regina
fa00170f-356a-4a0d-8030-d137fd855880
Jack, Lisa
a6ce44ff-fb81-4997-a9fd-772225b587ce
Krzyzaniak, Sally-Ann Caroline
ca10bad7-a2cf-4234-a8b9-9e14a15d67ff

Frei, Regina, Jack, Lisa and Krzyzaniak, Sally-Ann Caroline (2020) Sustainable reverse supply chains and circular economy in multichannel retail returns. Business Strategy and the Environment, 29 (5), 1925-1940. (doi:10.1002/bse.2479).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The percentage of products being returned in multichannel retail are high and further increasing, yet many retailers and manufacturers are unaware of the importance and scale of this issue. They consider dealing with returns as a cost of doing business, and are oblivious of the potential for conflicts between their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments and their returns practices. This article investigates how far sustainable practices and Circular Economy concepts have been implemented in retail returns systems; it identifies vulnerabilities, barriers and challenges to the implementation of sustainable, circular practices, and suggests ways to overcome them, as sustainability, loss prevention and profit optimisation can go hand in hand with the right approach to the organisation of the reverse supply chain. Implications of this research on strategic management are outlined. The research was conducted using in-depth interviews and observations with 4 major retailers in the UK, 17 structured interviews, 100 retailer website reviews and 3 retail community workshops, all with British and other European retailers.

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sustainability_article_v8_for_review - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 29 January 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 February 2020
Published date: July 2020
Keywords: circular economy, multichannel retail, product returns, reverse logistics, reverse supply chains, sustainability

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437689
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437689
ISSN: 0964-4733
PURE UUID: c65de1a1-693f-4c2f-8053-655de12ab30d
ORCID for Regina Frei: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0953-6413

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Feb 2020 17:35
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 06:31

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Contributors

Author: Regina Frei ORCID iD
Author: Lisa Jack
Author: Sally-Ann Caroline Krzyzaniak

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