The future of ecommerce is peer-to-peer

After two decades of revolutionizing online home furnishings with Hayneedle, sibling- co-founders Julie Mahloch and her brother Doug Nielsen, identified the industry-wide struggles associated with product returns. In response, they founded Rush ReCommerce to provide a specialized end-to-end returns solution. This week on Disruptive Design, DNN Editor in Chief Courtney Porter speaks with Julie Mahloch, co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer of Rush Recommerce, about the business of open box and the future of ecommerce from a technology and sustainability perspective. Click play on the video below to watch the conversation: 


Now is the time to Rush

Rush comes at a time with a heightened urgency to reduce or altogether eradicate the influx of items destined for landfills. The surge in recommerce is attributed, in part, to the prevalence of free shipping and lenient return policies made popular by the Amazons and Wayfairs of the world.

Giving the people what they want

Julie’s aha moment was realizing that these are products people actually want. Unlike overstock, stuff people never wanted in the first place, what the consumer finds on Rush is more likely returned because it was the wrong color or size – the problems that accompany online shopping.

Full circle

The circular economy is an economic model designed to minimize waste and make the most of resources. Unlike the traditional linear economy, which follows a “take, make, dispose” approach, the circular economy promotes a closed-loop system where products, materials, and resources are reused, refurbished, remanufactured, and recycled to extend their lifecycle. Recommerce is a major key to making that happen. The goal is to create a sustainable and regenerative system that reduces environmental impact, conserves resources, and fosters long-term economic resilience.

Rush ReCommerce plans for rapid growth in 2024

Rush ReCommerce, is expanding its network of retail partners and will process more than 400,000 returns in 2024, maximizing return recovery rate up to three times the industry average. The company is growing partnership opportunities, which will prevent nearly 8 million pounds of product from the landfill, providing a solution-facing circular economy.

“We are tapping into the $743 billion of merchandise returns to provide the home furnishings industry an end-to-end solution to process e-commerce returns,” said Doug Nielsen, Rush ReCommerce Co-Founder and CEO. “Returns are routed from the customer to our recommerce centers, where we use proprietary software to digitize and resell the products. This results in more than 93% of returns received being resellable in 2024.”

According to the National Retail Federation, in 2023 the total returns for the retail industry amounted to $743 billion in merchandise. Rush ReCommerce is forecasting to process more than $76 million in retail value of returns for more than 200 home furnishing partners in 2024. 

“Our partners experience a higher recovery rate, while solving the problem of small parcels and oversized returns,” said Nielsen. “The solution is simple – Rush ReCommerce partners spend less time on returns logistics and optimize their returns to recover profitability.”

For its more than 200 partners, this has created up to an 85% sell-through and three times more recovery than industry average. 

“Before Rush ReCommerce, we didn’t have a full solution for our returns,” said Bill Hall, VP of Sales of Martin Svensson. “Returns would accumulate in our warehouse and then we’d eventually liquidate for pennies on the dollar. Now we don’t have to deal with them – no processing or handling – and the best part is we are getting paid around three times more than liquidating.”

See Also

Rush ReCommerce is the leading end-to-end solution for furniture manufacturers and retailers to handle home good returns. Through their network, Rush ReCommerce has helped create a sustainable way to shop for open box furniture online. Most returns, especially bulky items, are either disposed of due to high reverse shipping cost or pile up in warehouses only to be liquidated for pennies on the dollar.

With Rush ReCommerce’s software, products are returned directly through Rush’s network, processed, and then renewed for resale. Products are made available at The Rush Market, their online open-box marketplace, the Omahabrick and mortar store and its Media, Pennsylvania location.

“Home furnishings continue to be a growing online category, partially because retailers have increased consumer confidence with generous return policies. The result is a larger number of returns,” said Julie Mahloch, Rush ReCommerce Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer. “Rush Recommerce is a win-win solution, we deliver high recovery on returns for our partners and keep products from ending up in land-fills!”

About Rush ReCommerce

Founded with a mission to solve the challenge of large-scale returns from ecommerce, Doug Nielsen, Julie Mahlochand Jeff DeRuiter wanted to create a sustainable solution to one of the largest growing ecommerce issues – returns & overstocks. Rush ReCommerce provides a solution with a meaningful connection between brands and consumers to unlock a circular economy of recovery for returns. Proprietary software and processing allow partners an opportunity to resell items for higher recovery value. With more than 200 manufacturers and brands on the platform currently, Rush ReCommerce is on its way to being the industry leader in helping solve this ever-growing issue.

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