September 8, 2023

National Retail Federation acquires Reverse Logistics Association


The National Retail Federation (NRF) said Thursday that it acquired the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), the global trade group for the product returns and reverse logistics industry, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition puts NRF, considered the country’s leading association that represents the retail trade, deep into one of the fastest-growing segments of global commerce. According to Grand View research, the global reverse logistics market, valued in 2022 at an estimated $731.3 billion, is projected to grow at a 9.4% compound annual growth rate from 2023 to 2030. 

The global expansion of e-commerce businesses and the increasing frequency of returns and replacements of products have propelled the demand for reverse logistics services, the firm said. In addition, increasing product recalls due to strict government rules and product quality standards are expected to boost market growth.

“A competent reverse logistics solution has become essential owing to the expansion of e-commerce businesses worldwide. The demand for returning goods in a simpler way is increasing as the e-commerce industry/business is significantly expanding, the firm said.”

In a statement, NRF framed the acquisition as part of its “unrivaled commitment” to support sustainable practices throughout the retail industry.

“Retailers understand the importance of sustainability practices and the environmental, economic, social and consumer benefits that accompany them,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “As consumer demand for sustainable offerings continues to increase, RLA’s reverse logistics expertise will help our members to ‘close the loop’ and accelerate the emergence of the circular economy.”

The circular economy is an economywide effort to ensure that useful products, materials and resources are reused or recycled. The reverse logistics industry manages the collecting, sorting, repairing and refurbishing of products for resale or recycling.

“NRF recognizes reverse logistics as the backbone of the circular economy and understands how it plays a vital role in broader sustainability initiatives for the retail industry,” said RLA Executive Director Tony Sciarrotta. “Through this partnership, RLA will continue to reach industries investing in the circular economy and enhance NRF’s long-term commitment to retail’s supply chain and sustainability efforts.”

Sciarrotta is now employed by NRF and will continue to manage his team at RLA, NRF said. The RLA name will remain for the foreseeable future, NRF said.

RLA is headquartered in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Georgia. NRF is based in Washington.


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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