Comparison of Cross-Border Reverse Logistics of a Fast Fashion Brand in China


  • Siti Wahab1 (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia )
  • Albert Tan1 (Asian Institute of Management, Makati, Philippines)
  • Olivier Roche1 (Asian Institute of Management, Makati, Philippines)

With the advent of "Industry 4.0" and the associated disruption caused by such rapid digital transformation, the logistics industry was able to develop cross-border delivery and increase demand for any given product. However, the risks associated with Cross-Border Reverse Logistics (CBRL) remain largely unexplored, and there is a paucity of research in this area. Hence, this study's objective is to investigate the e-commerce delivery system and CBRL model of a major fashion brand. The study is based on a case study approach comparing the CBRL processes of the Zara official site with one of their main channel partners, Alibaba. Data was collected through archival records, a secondary data bank and interviews with Zara representatives for a deeper analysis. The analysis reveals that both Zara and Alibaba's official sites currently have issues with their CBRL operations. The development of cross-border logistics represents a great opportunity to improve current Zara's and Alibaba's e-commerce platforms business model. In a very competitive market, a lack of a cross-border logistics system could represent a potential loss. Compared to local reverse logistics, cross-border remains at a relatively primitive stage. However, local reverse logistics can provide insights to Zara and Alibaba towards developing and improving CBRL. The case findings lay the foundation for a better understanding of CBRL e-commerce's challenges and support the need to optimize these systems to improve customer service in China.

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