Ingka Group invests in tech startup to optimize returns
Ingka Group has made a minority investment in Optoro, an innovative US based start-up that provides technology to retailers for managing and optimizing returned inventory better.
Returns create costly financial and environmental problems for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, over $400 billion in goods are returned every year in the US. With the growth of e-commerce, the volume of returned inventory continues to rise.
Ingka Investments, one of the three business areas of Ingka Group, made this minority investment in Optoro. The investment will now enable IKEA Retail U.S. to partner with Optoro to reduce waste from returns.
With this investment, Ingka Group, owner of IKEA Retail U.S., continues to grow its presence in the U.S., advancing the company’s commitment to creating a more circular economy. Optoro’s technology will be implemented in 10 IKEA distribution centers, 50 retail stores, and the customer support center in the U.S.
By using Optoro’s platform, IKEA Retail U.S. aims to improve customer experience by streamlining the returns flow and remove waste from its reverse supply chain.
“We’re on a mission to become a circular business by 2030, and we need partners like Optoro who can help us achieve our goals,” said Javier Quiñones, President & Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA Retail U.S. “Optoro’s solution will enable us to eliminate much of the waste created in the reverse supply chain, from minimizing the carbon emissions released in return shipping to finding the best next homes for returned items.”
This announcement is the latest in a series of investments made by Ingka Group in U.S.-based businesses, all of whom share the brand’s values and ongoing commitment to becoming people and planet positive.
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