ReturnBear to launch operations in UK in July

Retail logistics startup has grown to over 1,000 Canadian locations.

Toronto-based e-commerce and logistics tech startup ReturnBear is expanding across the pond as it looks to launch operations in the United Kingdom (UK).

The startup gives retail merchants access to physical drop-off locations and supports brands with cross-border returns and reverse logistics in the United States (US), Canada, and as of July 1, the UK. 

“Our expansion into the UK market is part of our vision to be the first global end-to-end platform for single-day returns.”

Sylvia Ng

ReturnBear’s solution covers both returns from the US or Canada that need to be shipped cross-border back to warehouses in a different country, and returns accepted from Canada or the US being sent back to warehouses within the same country.

The platform includes access to a network of package-free, label-free drop-off locations, as well as an online customer portal that the startup says automates the returns process.

On its website, ReturnBear claims returns can make up a fifth of brands’ on-hand inventory on average. The startup positions its service as a way merchants can improve the online returns experience for customers, thereby increasing customer loyalty while driving profitability.

“Merchants can easily sell in a hundred countries overnight using global selling platforms. But there is no easy way to get returns back,” Sylvia Ng, CEO of ReturnBear, said in a statement.  “Our expansion into the UK market is part of our vision to be the first global end-to-end platform for single-day returns.”

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ReturnBear’s CEO has a history in the online retail space, having been an executive at Canada’s largest e-commerce company, Shopify. After launching in October 2021 with one hub location and two pilot drop-off locations at Cadillac Fairview malls in the Greater Toronto Area, the startup has grown to over 1,000 Canadian locations. 

The startup currently has two processing hubs in Canada and the US, respectively, and is backed by venture builder Koru, Cadillac Fairview, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

“Consumers check for convenient returns before buying, and merchants must meet consumers’ expectations to grow in local markets,” Ng added. “ReturnBear provides a simple way to do that.”

Feature image courtesy of Sylvia Ng.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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