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Ikea deploys solution to reduce waste from returns

IKEA storefront

Ikea U.S. wants to remove waste from its reverse supply chain as part of its commitment to build a circular business.

Ikea U.S. is partnering with Optoro, a provider of returns optimization technology. Optoro's technology will be implemented in 50 Ikea stores, 10 distribution centers and its customer  support center in the U.S. The platform, which efficiently routes all returned goods to the best channel, will streamline Ikea’s returns flow and improve customer experience.

According to the National Retail Federation, more than $400 billion in goods are returned every year in the U.S. Historically, many returns end up in landfills and the transportation of these goods contributes to retail's carbon footprint. Optoro's solution leverages data analytics and machine learning to help retailers efficiently manage and resell returned inventory, reducing financial, operational and environmental waste.

Ingka Group, owner of Ikea Retail U.S., recently participated in Optoro's latest funding round through its investment arm, Ingka Investments.  

“We're on a mission to become a circular business by 2030, and we need partners like Optoro who can help us achieve our goals," said Javier Quiñones, president & chief sustainability officer of Ikea Retail U.S. "Optoro's solution will enable us to eliminate much of the waste created in the reverse supply chain, from minimizing the carbon emissions released in return shipping to finding the best next homes for returned items."

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