Since rolling out service in five test markets with Eddie Bauer, Spiegel and Newport News on Nov. 20, Newgistic Inc.s’ ReturnValet service already has handled several thousand in what may be several hundred thousand returns it will process for the Spiegel Group retailers over the next three to four months, Newgistics tells internetretailer.com.
“There will be a peak after the holidays, but returns are a year-round business and volumes are level through the year," says a Newgistics spokeswoman.
ReturnValet provides customers returning merchandise from the participating retailers with an alternative to dropping the package off at the post office. Customers can instead return products to any of a network of local, private mail centers contracted with Newgistics; the centers access information from the retailer’s database to credit the customer’s account in 24 hours or less.
The service, which is being tested in five markets, will roll out in 75 cities in February for Spiegel Group customers as well as customers of Lillian Vernon and Sincerely Yours.
Initially tested with Lillian Vernon in Dallas-Fort Worth last year, Newgistics has this year handed off processing of soft goods to Spiegel-Hermes General Service, the warehouse and distribution services joint venture of Spiegel Group and Hermes General Service USA. Spiegel-Hermes will repackage, re-ship or liquidate soft goods as needed not only for merchandise coming back to Spiegel Group retailers, but for any participating company`s soft goods coming back through ReturnValet. USF Processors, Newgistics` original warehousing and distribution partner in ReturnValet, retains processing duties for hard goods.