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Value recovery firm B-Stock is calling on retailers to choose sustainable options that also reduce financial losses, such as recommerce or online B2B auctions, in lieu of landfills or incinerators for overstock and customer returns.

Last year, in the apparel industry alone B-Stock diverted almost 75,000kgs of clothing, with a retail value of £5m, from UK landfills. While, 120 million items were sold across its recommerce platform globally; that’s 439,874,198 pounds weight of merchandise kept in use.

Jess Morris, head European marketplace manager at B-Stock, said the pressure on retailers to take a sustainable approach to support their brand image while getting the most recovery of overstock and returns is mounting in every direction.

She commented: “Every industry is experiencing the tribulations of rising costs, supply chain hurdles and warehouse storage crises, on top of serving customer demand, which is stretching the limits of viability.

“It’s encouraging to see more resell, repair and rental strategies in operation, however, low-value returns are taking up valuable – and costly – warehouse space while depreciating further, which is currently a major contributing factor for businesses collapsing.”

Furthermore, as the Signifyd State of UK Commerce 2023 report revealed that 23% of UK and European shoppers think long returns windows make for a positive returns experience, retailers have an issue on their hands. Ecommerce businesses reported 35% of their goods were returned in 2022, amounting to a 25% year-on-year increase.

B-Stock added velocity is the single most important factor today for companies moving unwanted merchandise. The faster they do so the more likely they’ll get a fair price for their goods.

The cost of putting returned items through the reverse logistics process leaves retailers with a difficult decision of what the fate of low-value items should be. B-Stock assists the likes of Amazon UK, N Brown, Freemans Grattan, alongside Wayfair EU and Disney EU, to leverage its B2B auction platform as a sustainable solution for increased value recovery on ‘dead’ stock.

UK e-tailers are also holding an average of £65,000 worth of overstock with little value, and 25% of excess stock was written off all together in 2022.

Morris continued: “B-Stock arms its clients with an additional and sustainable revenue stream through an automated recovery solution that clears the stockpile of returns and surplus inventory into the hands of qualified buyers on average in 13 days.”

“The sector has a lot to contend with and customers are making their stance known and are boycotting brands that don’t live up to robust environmental standards. We also know from eBay’s recent Recommerce Report that 90% of buyers purchased pre-loved goods in the past year. The demand is clear, and we encourage retailers to consider how participation in the circular economy will help facilitate a much more sustainable future for the planet, and business.”