Pharmacy retail chain Walgreens has launched a new B2B eMarketplace to sell excess goods to other businesses, reports in Digital Commerce 360 said this week.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is rolling out Walgreens Liquidation Auctions, an online portal through which business customers can bid on excess consumer packaged goods and other merchandise from Walgreens, including home decor, laundry products, small appliances, cosmetics and apparel.
B-Stock Solutions is hosting the platform, enabling wholesale buyers to bid on truckload and less-than-truckload quantities of goods. Walgreens will ship the procured goods from one of its 15 fulfillment centers in the country, reports said, noting that B-Stock is hosting a slew of other B2B eMarketplaces from retail giants, including Amazon. The solution enables retailers to cut losses on unsold stock while also freeing up inventory to accelerate product turnover, particularly for items that have been returned and cannot be re-sold.
Earlier this month, B-Stock Founder and CEO Howard Rosenberg spoke with PYMNTS' Karen Webster about the value of returned goods, which he estimates will reach more than $90 billion in the weeks following the holiday gift-giving spree. The first quarter of every year typically sees double the number of truckloads of returned merchandise, as online retailers continue to make it easier for customers to make returns.
But when retailers fail to resell those items, particularly after the holidays, they're leaving money on the table, Rosenberg said.
"Simply by addressing this stuff more quickly, you add value, because nothing goes up in value sitting in warehouses," he said. "The faster you get rid of it, the faster you stop soaking up depreciation. Just [by] moving more quickly, you can make more money – and taking a different approach, that is where the really big advantages can come in."
The flood of returns not only means lost profits, but also adds pressure on retailers' logistics and warehousing operations as they decide how to manage the sudden spike in inventory.