FloorFound has expanded its nationwide recommerce network, including five facilities totaling 500,000 square feet of space and business intelligence software that helps retailers determine the best channel for maximizing resale value, plus an integration with project44’s supply chain platform.
With an increased interest in circular commerce from consumers drawn to second-hand goods based on sustainability and discount pricing, companies like FloorFound, Optoro and B-Stock Solutions are seeing their business grow.
FloorFound receives returned or trade-in goods either directly from consumers or in bulk transfers from client warehouses or other collection points. Its centers are strategically located across the U.S. to reduce time and transit costs.
Founded in 2020, FloorFound raised a $10.5 million Series A round in May. Clients include Floyd, Indoor Weather, Joybird and Feather, recently joined by DTC furniture brand Neighbor. The company’s platform analyzes data including the price point of the original sale, past performance of resold goods and other criteria to develop rules for optimizing value recovery.
Chris Richter, founder and CEO of FloorFound, said he initially developed the company’s network through 3PL partnerships, which still works well on the transportation side, but they were not built to handle the unique requirements of recommerce at scale. That’s when he and his partners decided to lease their own warehouses designed for refurbishing, repackaging and redistributing lots of bulky goods.
“We discovered the hard way that you can’t expect an ecommerce 3PL to scale their reverse logistics processes, and recommerce has too many things specific to our business,” Richter said. “If you think of the life of a 3PL, they receive and cross-dock in a consolidated way, and they’re motivated to get product out the door as soon as possible.”
What they don’t have, Richter said, is space for long-term storage, refurbishment and rework of bulky items that arrive from all over in a variety of conditions and need to be triaged by specially trained associates.
“We have to determine, what is the best way to recover the maximum, whether it’s going right out DTC, liquidated immediately or something else,” he said. “Making those decisions and executing that strategy takes time. An item may need to stay 30 days in the same location. Every one of them is hand inspected, and some need repair and refurbishment. Other might be one part of three for a sofa, and they arrive on different trucks.”
Because off-the-shelf capabilities didn’t exist to run his business, Richter said FloorFound hired its own team of software developers. They’ve created a TMS lite to optimize the flow of goods to and from its facilities, and software that develops workflows to map returned items to their original SKU and product data, helping to scale visual inspections.
“In our reverse logistics operation, every item, even if it has a SKU derived from the retailer, has its own unique identifier, so we can scale inventory management and optimize products against sales channels,” he said. “That’s a big challenge.”