Neiman Marcus Eyes Simplified Returns

Retailer's catalog division pilots reverse logistics solution from Newgistics

Austin, TX  February 18, 2003  The catalog publishing division of The Neiman Marcus Group is set to pilot a reverse logistics solution from Newgistics in a bid to improve customer service.

Neiman Marcus Direct will begin piloting Newgistics' SmartLabel returns program beginning this month.

With the SmartLabel service(see related story), customers receive a prepaid, preaddressed return-shipping label with their merchandise. Customers place the SmartLabel on the return package and drop the package anywhere in the U.S. Postal Service system. SmartLabel's barcode links it to the customer's order summary so that Newgistics will be able to provide visibility to Neiman Marcus early in the return process.

"Newgistics has a system that will help Neiman Marcus marry our commitment to provide the 'ultimate in shopping experiences' with the ultimate in returns ease," said Jessica Weiland, senior vice president of marketing at Neiman Marcus Direct. "We want our customers to be able to experience the convenience of shopping direct. We believe Newgistics' return program will prove to be a key initiative in providing a greater level of service to our customers."

A survey conducted for Newgistics found that 40 percent of consumers were frustrated by the returns process, and 72 percent yearned for an easier process. The provider contends that its SmartLabel option simplifies returns for consumers and makes customers who do have to return goods more likely to shop with a merchandiser in the future.

Newgistics claims that retailers typically see a 70 percent usage of the SmartLabel returns service within 150 days of launch. The provider earlier this year reported high levels of usage by customers of Spiegel Group companies, which include Eddie Bauer, Spiegel and Newport News.

Note: iSource Business has included reverse logistics in Version 4.0 of its Global Enabled Supply and Demand Chain Map under Customer Relationship Management. Version 5.0 of the Map appears in this month's issue of iSource Business.