Circular Strategies to Improve Consumer Goods Returns

How to Cite

Chaban, K., & Tucker, J. (2023). Circular Strategies to Improve Consumer Goods Returns. Business Management Research and Applications: A Cross-Disciplinary Journal, 2(2), 16–55. Retrieved from


As the importance of sustainability as a business strategy continues to grow, U.S. consumer goods companies must incorporate sustainability goals for critical business processes such as the product return process to minimize profit and waste. A general business problem is that leaders in the U.S. consumer goods industry have faced significant challenges in implementing sustainable solutions to reduce consumer product returns' economic and environmental impact. The circular economy (CE) is an approach to transition from the traditional take-make-waste linear business model to a closed-loop model focused on regenerating natural resources and extending the value of materials and goods. A gap in business practice is that leaders responsible for the product return process for consumer product companies across the U.S. have been slow to adopt circular business models. The purpose of this qualitative inquiry research was to explore the perspectives of thirteen circular economy (CE) experts with at least three years of CE experience to discover innovative strategies for the returns process to improve the adoption of a CE business model.  The framework for this study was an adapted CE framework based on the butterfly diagram from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The expert data collected through semi-structured interviews was analyzed using thematic analysis. Five themes emerged from the analysis, including supply chain, business model disruption, reverse logistics, design, and CE enablers.  

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