New year, new logistics deal for M&Co

UK clothing retailer M&Co will be working with Clipper Logistics in the new year, it was announced today.

Under the new agreement, Leeds-based Clipper will be providing distribution services to M&Co's 250-strong retail store base on an exclusive basis, using a mixture of dedicated and shared user vehicles from its distribution centres at Harlow, Avonmouth, Brighouse and East Kilbride.

The new partnership starts on 1 January 2016 and will run to the end of 2019. Clipper already works with retailers such as Asos, Asda and, most recently, Andy Bond's Pep & Co.

In an interview with Essential Retail last year, Clipper Logistics CEO Tony Mannix said a lot of the business's focus has been on helping retailers deal with the returns process. As online grows as a percentage of overall sales, retailers' capacity to deal with customer returns has been stretched.

"For most of our customers now, returns probably represent their biggest inbound supplier stream and, for fashion, it can be up to 40% that comes back," he explained.

"All retailers are facing the challenge surrounding inventory that is coming back, and the problem is the returning customer won't have packaged it properly, and retailers are left with single packages with labels on. The major challenge then is time criticality."

M&Co has already invested in driving online conversions and personalising its eCommerce offering to customers. The retailer announced in the spring that it had been working with tech company Peerius, using the vendor's software to see which customers had opened its marketing emails before following up with further communication to try and complete sales.

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Clipper Logistics