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- February 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 2

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CBRE forecasts online returns could total as much as $41.6b in 2019 holiday season

by Andrea Zander

Buying presents online can be easy — but what if the recipient doesn’t like the gift? Then the package has to be returned, which means putting the logistics supply chain into reverse.

The process of receiving, processing and reassigning returned goods within a supply chain is commonly called reverse logistics.

Retailers and shippers this past holiday season were expected to handle more returns than ever of goods bought online, illustrating a costly drawback to e-commerce’s growth that the industry is working hard to contain, according to a new report from CBRE.

CBRE calculates a maximum value for the season’s returns of online purchases at $41.6 billion by applying the standard percentage range for online returns — 15 percent to 30 percent — to 2019’s projected holiday retail sales. Digital Commerce 360, the data and analysis provider formerly known as Internet Retailer, forecast online sales in November and December would total $138.5 billion.

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