Retailer seeks savings with reverse logistics

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Mothercare has selected third-party logistics (3PL) group Exel to provide it with reverse logistics services. Exel is managing a returns centre based at Mothercare’s Coventry distribution centre for the retailer and providing a range of services including receipt, sortation, distribution and on-site disposal across all product categories, including prams, car seats and toys.

For the first time, Exel is managing any Mothercare product recalls from the centre.

The returns from all of Mothercare’s 230-plus UK stores and its e-business operation in Lutterworth, which deals with Internet and telephone orders for home delivery, are being handled by Exel. A secure operation in Coventry has also been introduced which, in the event of a product recall, enables a quarantine area for products from the warehouse, collections from stores, and returns from online and telephone orders.

Mothercare logistics director Colin Astbury says: “Exel’s reverse logistics operation will net us a significant saving in our transport costs and ensures greater visibility and control of the disposal process. The centre also has a role to play in brand protection for Mothercare, as absolute responsibility and integrity is crucial when you are dealing with products for babies and young children.”

l Mothercare’s multi-carrier strategy, p68.

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