As retail staff recover from this year’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday discount bonanza, it remains to be seen whether November will beat December again as the peak retail sales month.
But while retail spending fell 0.2 per cent month-on-month in October, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Retailers Association predicted Australians still spent an estimated $6.36 billion across the Black Friday weekend – despite rising interest rates and the cost-of-living crunch.
And a lot of those sales are fashion and apparel.
TMX Transform analysis conducted earlier this year found that more than 55 million pieces of new clothing bought online in Australia every year are being sent to landfill.
The “remote fitting room” phenomenon refers to consumers bulk-buying garments in different sizes, then returning those that are ill-fitting – with many going to waste.
Australians buy on average 56 items of clothing each per year, or about 1.1 billion in total. Of these, about 350 million are purchased online.
But up to two-thirds of these online returns go into landfill, as retailers are unable to repackage the goods and process them back into the supply chain for repurchase.
E-commerce, social media, ease of purchase, free returns, and other variables all influence fashion and apparel spending and returns behaviour by younger people.
Retailers work hard to provide options, flexibility, and exceptional service to their customers – but they are also working to ease the pressure of reverse logistics on their supply chain.
Jamie says retailers can explore a range of operational efficiencies and options to optimise their reverse logistics, including waste reduction, optimising fulfilment orders, improving delivery management, and efficiently processing returned garments – all while maintaining customer service.
Jamie adds: “Retailers can do a lot to manage the returns burden – for example, minimising split and multiple orders from the same retailer to a single customer.”
This article was originally published on December 1, 2023 by MHD Supply Chain.