business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Forbes reports that "FedEx will offer customers an easier returns process, featuring wider access to a network of locations for dropping off unwanted goods using a simple QR code."  No packaging will be required.

The story points out that "retailers have found that consolidating returns can increase efficiency and reduce costs by using fewer supplies and less labor to pack and ship the products. Ground transportation's consolidation process also generates fewer carbon emissions and leaves a smaller environmental footprint than shipping individual items back to retailers.

"Customers are advantaged with a simplified return process. Shoppers are increasingly making buying decisions based on a retailer’s return policy, expecting returns to be free and easy."

Sounds a lot like what Amazon offers … when we want to return something to Amazon, we just take the item and a QR code down to our local Whole Foods and drop it off.   It is amazingly convenient, and from all reports, is more efficient and sustainable for Amazon.

•  Reuters reports that Amazon has "reached an agreement with certain lenders to provide the e-commerce giant an $8 billion unsecured loan.  The term loan will mature in 364 days, with an option to extend for another 364 days and the proceeds would be used for general corporate purposes."