New Study on Return Polices
Can firms actually use return policies to improve their business?
According to a new study by J. Andrew Petersen of the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill and V. Kumar of Georgia State University, the answer
is a resounding yes. Breaking with tradition and realigning corporate
resources in favor of leniency toward customer returns not only benefits firms
in the near term but can significantly increase their profits over the long
term. Bottom Line: Product returns are typically seen as a necessary headache
and a cost drain. But companies can use their return policies to enhance
customer loyalty and increase profits. In the study they did apply a customer
lifetime value metric that balanced a consideration of customers' perceived risk
against the return-related costs incurred by the company.
"This finding suggests that understanding the dynamics between product return
behavior and purchase behavior over time enables firms to distinguish customers
who are likely to increase purchase behavior at a faster rate relative to
product return behavior rather than focus only on the net profit from purchase
behavior - all at a lower marketing cost," the authors write.
Still, many firms have gone the other way, introducing fees, deadlines, or other
rules to discourage customers from returning products. Unfortunately for those
companies, because stringent return policies tend to raise the risks for
customers, they decrease consumers' willingness to buy a product - not a huge
problem if only a small number of consumers consider making returns, but a
significant one in light of the authors' findings that a high percentage of
customers often send back their purchases.
In short, firms that ignore or downplay the area of customer returns are missing
a huge opportunity to bond with customers and enhance their profitability. The
trajectory of a customer's value to the firm changes drastically when companies
embrace product returns as well as purchases in their calculation of consumers'
Perceived Risk, Product Returns, and Optimal Resource Allocation: Evidence from
a Field Experiment strategy-business.com
The Next LP Challenge - Thieves in the Sky - It's Skeet Shooting Season -
14 Companies sign agreements with NASA to create Drone air traffic control
systems - 100 others interested According to Bloomberg, Google,
Amazon, Verizon and Harris Corp. are among 14 companies that have signed
agreements with NASA to help create a drone air traffic control system. The
system, called Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management, would rely upon a
computer network or networks to set routes that prevent mid-air drone
collisions. Humans would be involved, but would rely on computers to provide
data to make decisions that would avoid collisions. It is not clear how much
involvement the federal government would have, or if there would be a single
network or multiple regional networks working together. About 100 other
companies and universities have also expressed interest in participating. Editor's
Note: This new 'retail channel' will be here much faster than most think and
the risks are significant. From sheer theft to fatalities, the loss rate will
be high initially. From simple skeet shooting to hacking, misdirecting
drones, even attempted armed robberies as we all saw recently with the hand gun
attached drone. Thieves will be all over this new unmanned delivery vehicle. chainstoreage.com
fights back against cargo theft with holistic, layered approach and 'zero' cargo
thefts last year Schneider, which has celebrated declining cargo
thefts for several years. However, 2014 marked a milestone for the truckload,
intermodal and logistics provider: The company had zero cargo thefts last
Making that accomplishment even more significant is the fact that Schneider has
more than 13,000 drivers who last year moved more than 4 million loads with the
company's familiar orange-colored equipment that includes nearly 12,000 power
units and 50,000 trailers.
Brian Bobo, vice president of enterprise security, says the Green Bay,
Wis.-based company has been able to beat the cargo theft odds because of its
holistic, layered approach to security. "To be successful, we can't rely
solely on doing one thing flawlessly," Bobo says.
Bobo emphasizes the importance of preparing and educating drivers and
owner-operators. "We apply a three-prong approach," he says. "We address
expectations during onboarding, we regularly communicate the locations and types
of thefts that are occurring, and we incorporate cargo theft-preventable
measures into our quarterly training sessions."
In addition to educating drivers to be smarter and savvier, Schneider's
Expedited Team uses the latest technology to keep freight safe. Schneider's
trailer-tracking system continuously monitored each of the company's trailers,
sending alerts when a door had been opened or otherwise had been compromised.
This technology also can determine if a trailer is loaded or empty, and for
customers who want to imbed covert tracking capabilities into the actual product
being moved, Schneider can monitor for irregularities and receive alerts when
the freight itself is altered or disturbed.
"Yes, we have the right technologies in place, but it's just as important
that our drivers and operations teams are consistently doing the right things,"
CargoNet, a cargo theft prevention and recovery company, says that Schneider's
year-over-year drop in thefts is indeed a remarkable accomplishment - especially
in light of current statistics that reveal an ever-increasing sophistication
among criminals. "Having no cargo thefts over the last year sets the
benchmark for the rest of the industry to work toward," says Anthony Canale,
CargoNet general manager. ccjdigital.com
Michael Kors goes after 'safe haven' knockoff shops - Suing the Landlord
Fake watches on the sidewalk, knockoff handbags in a back room - for years, New
York's fashion industry has been vexed by the infamous counterfeit sellers near
Canal Street in NYC. Now Michael Kors' company is trying a new tactic to shut
them down - by suing the landlord. Mulberry Street Properties, which owns a
small strip of storefronts on Mulberry just north of Canal, “has turned a blind
eye” to the illegal counterfeit goods being peddled by its tenants, the designer
claims in a lawsuit.
Investigators working for Kors have repeatedly bought phony goods at four tiny
shops renting space at 110A, 110B, 112 and 112A Mulberry St., but the landlord
"continues to allow its premises to be used as a safe haven and marketplace from
which counterfeiters can sell their wares," Kors charges in court papers.
Mulberry Properties...must be held accountable for its complicity in these
illegal activities,” Kors demands in the lawsuit.
It's not the first time a big-name designer has gone after a counterfeit
peddler's landlord. In December 2013, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., flea-market owner
agreed to pay $5.5 million to the luxury leather-goods maker Coach after being
sued for letting its tenants hawk fake versions of the company's goods.
Robberies of pharmacies increasing nationwide - with Indiana outpacing the pack
U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency data shows 382 armed robberies of pharmacies
nationwide from January through May, or about 76 per month, up by about seven
per month over last year. Indiana recorded 68 pharmacy robberies during
those five months, compared with 78 during all of 2014, the DEA data showed.
Wisconsin ranked second this year with 32 robberies through May. Experts
attribute the increase to the pain of opiate withdrawal and black-market demand
for drugs. The most common narcotics stolen are opiate pain medication or
benzodiazepines, which are psychoactive drugs. Stores have taken preventive
steps including time-locked safes and safety glass windows for transactions.
Some robberies are committed by people addicted to medication, while others
are part of an organized retail crime group. Representatives for CVS,
Walgreens and Meijer declined to comment, citing the need to keep their security
OSHA issues new PSM enforcement memo for retail facilities selling Highly
Hazardous Chemicals (e.g., gas stations) Use this six month interim
enforcement period to examine and bring all of your facilities into compliance
with the "revised" standard. Enforcement
Vice President of Loss Prevention position in
Central U.S. - Retained Search by Sandy Jackson Associates, Retail Recruiting
Active Shooter situations are becoming a part of basic police training across
Violent weekend in South L.A. leaves 11 wounded, 1 dead - Gang promises attacks
will continue - Retailers beware
Fast-food wage hike in NY puts all owners on
Quarterly Same Store
Arby's Q2 comp's up 7.6%
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No birthday suit for Bebe buyer, as store refuses to hand over dress