Consignia, Safeway Partner on Returns

Consignia, the parent company of troubled Royal Mail, is starting an alternative business to help retailers in the United Kingdom process returned and recalled goods to suppliers.

The company said yesterday that it agreed to a deal with Safeway to manage returns of the retailer's faulty or damaged goods. Consignia expects to announce similar deals with other retailers shortly.

As part of the Safeway deal, Consignia will process all non-grocery goods returned by customers at its 447 stores in the United Kingdom and send them to suppliers.

A Consignia spokeswoman said the program is the first service of its kind in Britain. It follows a six-month trial period.

The contract is part of Consignia's drive to reposition itself following increased competition from other delivery operators.

The service is targeted at manufacturers, distributors, retailers and direct marketers of books, CDs, videos, DVDs and other consumer goods.

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