When Retailers Face Recalls, Visibility Matters

by Scott Vigneault, on September 18, 2017

Product recalls are a huge challenge in retail.
Product recalls are a huge challenge in retail.

There are many benefits that come with better visibility of retail products as they move into inventory and out to customers. Great traceability of items is perhaps even more important when a defect is found. A retail organization's reputation could rest on its ability to quickly and effectively determine whether it sold any of the relevant goods, and if there are any still in its system.

Reviewing the Recalls
The Associated Press's recent overview of recalled products shows plenty of different items have been found to be dangerous or misleading. This demonstrates the breadth of actions retailers may have to take. For example, Walmart has issued a recall for over 1.6 million chests of drawers sold between 2009 and 2016 as they present a tipping risk when not anchored to a wall. The action was triggered in response to a child being hurt.

Sometimes, a product is recalled for a pack-in item sold with it, rather than the advertised object. The AP noted that a storybook bundled with a slap bracelet is being called back, because the metal core of the bracelets can wear through the fabric covering, creating a risk of cuts. The books were sold by major booksellers, general retailers and even book fairs and clubs.

When Recalls Lead to Action
When a retailer fails to take quick or decisive action on a recall, the results can include lawsuits. Law.com noted that Amazon is facing a class action suit for its supposedly inadequate recall efforts for solar eclipse viewing glasses. The products were discovered to not offer adequate eye protection, but the plaintiffs claim they were not notified about the danger and viewed the sun.

Eyes on all Products
Recalls test the mettle of every part of the retail supply chain, as well as the ability of these different groups to work together. Quickly and effectively recalling a product is easier when an enterprise labeling system is in place to give greater visibility of items on the move.  Learn more about how Loftware can help with your retail labeling needs.

Topics:Supply ChainRegulatoryRetailTransportation & Logistics