Sustainable reverse supply chains for retail product returns

Regina Frei, Sally-Ann Caroline Krzyzaniak, Lisa Jack

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


With online sales growing massively over the last few years, product returns have also increased significantly, and for a variety of reasons. However, most companies strongly underestimate the effort and costs necessary for dealing with these returns. The reverse supply chains and systems used are often ad-hoc and have many weaknesses; research has shown that sustainability is a topic still completely neglected in the area. This chapter contributes to identifying vulnerabilities, explains best practice, suggests ways to achieve further improvement and points out where further investigation is required. The findings are based on a comprehensive study involving 100 retailers’ online returns policies; a review of other existing studies; four in-depth case studies with major UK retailers, including over 25 interviews, observations and site visits; and structured interviews with another 17 retailers in the UK and Europe. Feedback was sought from retail industry consortia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Development Goals and Sustainable Supply Chains in the Post-global Economy
EditorsNatalia Yakovleva, Regina Frei, Sadhir Rama Murthy
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-15066-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-15065-5
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2019

Publication series

NameGreening of Industry Networks Studies
ISSN (Print)2543-0246


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