Live from NCOF: Neiman Marcus Cuts Returns Costs With Service SmartLabel

Dallas based cataloger/retailer Neiman Marcus, which also mails the Horchow and Chef’s Catalog titles, has reduced its returns processing costs since partnering with Austin, TX-based service provider Newgistics.

Neiman Marcus, which has about 300,000 return packages a year, is only using Smartlabel in its core catalog. According to Doug Kern, vice president of product management for Newgistics, Smartlabel’s program encompasses a prepaid, pre-addressed, return shipping label on the customers packing slip. A barcode on the return label includes the customer’s account information on its barcode, which links the package to the customer’s invoice and provides information back to Neiman Marcus about incoming returns.

The customer simply slaps the adhesive return label on the returned package and deposits the package to the USPS. Once the package hits the bulk mail centers, Newgistics pulls the packages out and send the package to its regional centers where its aggregates and palletizes the returns for the marketer.

Neiman Marcus, which began using Newgistic’s SmartLabel return service for its catalog and Internet divisions on Valentine’s Day, promotes SmartLabel on its order form and on the Website as well as inserts inside the customers package. According to the company, call center returns related calls thus far have decreased 20%-30% since it began using Smartlabel.