The National Retail Federation has acquired the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), a global trade association for the returns and reverse industry.
The announcement was made on Thursday, during the RLA Leadership Summit in Atlanta. It reflects NRF's commitment to support sustainable practices throughout the retail industry. The purchase price was not revealed.
“NRF has a long history of convening supply chain professionals to collaborate and develop resources that improve the retail industry,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers understand the importance of sustainability practices and the environmental, economic, social and consumer benefits that accompany them. As consumer demand for sustainable offerings continues to increase, RLA’s reverse logistics expertise will help our members to ‘close the loop’ and accelerate the emergence of the circular economy.”
The NRF noted that the circular economy is an economy-wide effort to ensure that useful products, materials and resources are reused or recycled. While hundreds of retail brands already offer “gently used” or “pre-loved” products to their customers, many others sell excess inventory at a discount. The reverse logistics industry manages the collecting, sorting, repairing and refurbishing of products for resale or recycling.
“NRF recognizes reverse logistics as the backbone of the circular economy and understands how it plays a vital role in broader sustainability initiatives for the retail industry,” stated RLA executive director Tony Sciarrotta. “Through this partnership, RLA will continue to reach industries investing in the circular economy and enhance NRF’s long-term commitment to retail’s supply chain and sustainability efforts.”
The NRF said that the acquisition will ensure that its members and the industry continue to receive the most forward-thinking, real-world and actionable innovations, research and information to drive the evolution of the world’s supply chain.
The Reverse Logistics Association is the only authoritative body for best practices related to reverse logistics. RLA is a member-driven, global trade association for the returns and reverse industry. It offers information, research, solutions, and facilitates networking introductions for manufacturers, retail companies, and third-party providers.