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Journal cover: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Return handling: an exploratory study with nine retailer warehouses


Document Information:
Title:Return handling: an exploratory study with nine retailer warehouses
Author(s):René B.M. de Koster Marisa P. de Brito, (René B.M. de Koster is a Professor of Logistics and Information Management in the Rotterdam School of Management and Marisa P. de Brito is a Researcher in the Econometric Institute of the Faculty of Economics, both at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.), Masja A. van de Vendel, (Masja A. van de Vendel is Assistant Manager at De Bijenkorf B.V., The Netherlands.)
Citation:René B.M. de Koster Marisa P. de Brito, Masja A. van de Vendel, (2002) "Return handling: an exploratory study with nine retailer warehouses", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 30 Iss: 8, pp.407 - 421
Keywords:Inbound logistics, Operations management, Outbound logistics, Retailing, Warehousing
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/09590550210435291 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Already for a long time retailers have taken back products. In this paper we explore the factors contributing to the decision of combining vs separating inbound and outbound flows during the return handling process. We do so through a comparative analysis of the operations in nine retailer warehouses, which can be divided into three groups: food retailers, non-food store chains and mail order companies. We identify both aggravating factors and facilitating actions for return handling. Furthermore, we bring about recommendations for practice. At the end we put forward propositions that are useful in feeding studies on return handling efficiency. In particular, we conjecture over the impact that return volume and product diversity have on the decision for combining vs separating the reverse and forward flows.



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