Tony Sciarrotta, Reverse Logistics Association : “Recycling is always the worst option in terms of value creation”

At a time when the NRF has just acquired the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), Mind Retail interviewed the Executive Director, Tony Sciarrotta. Between Artificial Intelligence, auctions, software to enhance the value of returned products, hyper-local solutions and returns lockers, Tony Sciarrotta presents the new value-creating axis.

Through Sophie Baqué. Published on 02 October 2023 à 11h54 - Update on 04 October 2023 à 15h28

Online returns rates have tripled in 5 years, reaching 21% in the U.S.A. How does reverse logistics meet this challenge? 

According to the NRF and Appriss Retail study of 2022, for every US$1 billion of goods sold in the U.S.A., returns amount to US$166 million. Honestly, I think this figure is underestimated. In Europe, according to our study carried out in June 2023, the average return rate for e-tailers is 25% by value. But reverse logistics isn’t just about managing returns. It actually begins when the purchase is completed and the customer leaves the store or the website. What should I do, as a retailer, if a product doesn’t work or is damaged during delivery? If it needs repairing? Reverse logistics is the keystone of the circular economy, through all its different stages, following “repackaging, repair, resell, reuse and recycling”. However, it’s important to bear in mind that recycling is always the worst option for a retailer,…