1st November 2021

Why should retailers care about mattress recycling?

By TFRG Team

With 60 percent of businesses having a sustainability strategy and 90 percent of executives agreeing that sustainability is important, it’s time to acknowledge that being green is a lot more than a box-ticking exercise for organisations.

Why sustainability?

Net-zero. Eco-friendly. Carbon neutral. You may have seen companies throwing buzzwords left, right and centre to draw in consumers. But a positive impact of sustainability not to be ignored is increased financial performance. And it’s not just about cutting waste for a one-off reduction – it’s about creating a system that provides continuous savings.

Is recycling profitable?

Yes, when it’s done properly. 

If you’re looking for a quick win by introducing paper recycling bins to your offices, you won’t see a return. However, investing in the right people and initiatives to implement a strategy will see ongoing returns. 

Whether you’re breaking a product down to be repurposed, or refurbishing to resell, there are plenty of ways to benefit from a product that’s no longer ‘good as new’ to consumers. 

Becoming part of a circular economy doesn’t just benefit a business’ reputation. It drives down costs and increases profit margins at many levels. And the more companies taking part, the more profitable the entire industry will be.

How to increase profit margin through recycling

One of the biggest misconceptions is that when a product reaches end-of-life, it no longer holds value. While this may appear true when looking at the product as a whole, the potential value of the individual components can increase profit margin through recycling or repurposing. 

For example, when we receive a consumer return, it cannot be resold in the condition it’s received. That’s where we rejuvenate or recycle.

Product refurbishing

Rejuvenation, or refurbishing, is very common, especially in the tech world. You’ll find good as new phones at a highly discounted rate and you can’t tell the difference from one without a previous owner. The same goes for mattresses. 

Many mattress retailers offer a 100-night comfort guarantee so customers have time to really decide if they want to spend a third of their life on it for years to come – it’s a big decision to make. If they don’t and return the product, a huge profit margin is lost by the retailer when refunding the cost and taking back a devalued asset. In fact, returns alone cost the retail industry £60bn a year, so why wouldn’t retailers want to scrape back some of their profit margins? 

For consumer returns, we provide a best practice mattress rejuvenation process from pickup to completion. This includes data gathering with analysis of fault codes, photographic records and a bespoke mattress sanitisation system. Retailers are then able to resell those returned mattresses at a reduced rate and see direct returns. Additionally, retailers can take learnings from our gathered data to feed into their marketing and customer service efforts.

Product recycling

While the majority of retailers don’t see direct returns from offering a recycling service, participating in a circular economy will ultimately result in higher profit margins. 

Whether it’s lower waste fees for a smaller contribution to landfill, or creating more materials that drive costs down at a manufacturing level, recycling can positively impact a business in multiple ways, with an overall increase in operating profit margin. 

And we shouldn’t forget the impact it has on potential customers too.

Retailer sustainability and consumers

81 percent of consumers would prefer to buy from a retailer that has sustainable business practices – are yours up to scratch? 

Consumers are clued up on spotting the real thing, and if your products aren’t echoing the green messaging you’re putting out, prepare for your reputation to take a hit. 

By truly investing time and money into procuring manufacturers that use recycled materials, recyclable packaging and taking responsibility for end-of-life products and shouting about it in your product marketing, you’ll further increase your revenue by attracting new customers that repeat purchases.

How retailers can make an impact with minimal investment

Business recycling and waste services commitment is an investment. It takes up resources, such as time and money as many businesses don’t have the logistics in place to offer recycling or rejuvenation services. 

That’s where businesses like TFR Group come in. By partnering with an established recycling service at a fixed cost, you’ll be able to protect your profit margins at a set rate for consistent monthly returns. 

We’ve partnered with retailers including John Lewis and Eve Sleep to not just improve their sustainability practices by diverting end-of-life and consumer return mattresses from landfill, but with a high rejuvenation rate, we’ve directly protected profit margins on returned items. 

Take a look at our case studies to learn more about how we support retailers.

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