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The University of Southampton
CORMSIS Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems

"Buy online, return in store - No such thing as a free return!" -- Talk by Regina Frei (University of Southampton) Event

16:00 - 18:00
17 October 2019
Room 3043, Building 2, Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this event, please email Konstantinos Katsikopoulos at .

Event details

The percentage of products being returned in multichannel retail are high and further increasing, yet many retailers and manufacturers are unaware of the importance and scale of this issue. They consider dealing with returns as a cost of doing business, and are oblivious of the potential for conflicts between their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments and their returns practices. The project investigated how far sustainable practices and Circular Economy concepts have been implemented in retail returns systems; it identified vulnerabilities, barriers and challenges to the implementation of sustainable, circular practices, and suggested ways to overcome them, as sustainability, loss prevention and profit optimisation can go hand in hand with the right approach to the organisation of the reverse supply chain. Implications of this research on strategic management are outlined. The research was conducted across 4 case studies, 17 structured interviews, 100 retailer website reviews and 3 retail community workshops, all with British and other European retailers.

Speaker information

Dr Regina Frei, joined Southampton Business School as an Associate Professor of Operations Management in September 2019. She is passionate about sustainable value chains and the Circular Economy. From 2013 to 2019, she was a Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing Engineering and Supply Chain Management at the University of Portsmouth, UK. Previously, she was a Postdoc at Cranfield University and Imperial College London. She holds a PhD in Distributed Robotics from Universidade Nova, Lisbon, Portugal, and an MSc in Micro-Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. She wrote her MSc Thesis at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, and did internships with the International Watch Company (IWC) and Schindler Lifts, both in Switzerland.

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