All businesses that sell products have to contend with unsold items and this refers to the items that remains on the shelves for far too long. Such items may be the ones that have surpassed their sell-by dates, making them unsuitable for consumption or use. The other items could have become defective due to factors like damaged packaging which causes dents and leaks. Each business has to have a way to dispose of the products in a manner that is safe and minimizes loss as well as friendly to the environment. Certain countries have taken a step further and put forward laws regarding disposal of unsold materials. Businesses operating in that environment have to adhere to such laws. Shopping malls are among the types of enterprises that offload a lot of things that customers do not want.
The business model of malls revolves around the concept of catering to the needs of customers. They achieve this by having a number of anchor stores or anchor clients such as banks, supermarket chains or renowned restaurants within their client base.
Being anchor stores, they will usually be the ones that lease the biggest floor space. These are the clients whose role is to pull in as many customers as possible in a concept known as the footprint concept. The rest of the client list will include many smaller enterprises that mainly cater for niche products such as pharmacies, opticians, bookshops and other specialized services.
Mall developers are required to design policies for dealing with waste products in case the product is no longer available for purchase. In the case of expiry and spoilage the mall owner will expect stores to aggregate the material. Countries that have strong environmental laws have agencies t tasked with ensuring that the laws are adhered to by all tenants. Environmentally destructive material must be put aside for professional disposal. Other categories are usually set aside for recycling while organic material normally ends up either at the landfill or sold to companies that manufacture fertilizers. For all categories of waste, the landlord is expected to provide adequate storage and organize for its timely collection either by private entities or by the municipal council.
Many items maybe delayed on shelves due to packaging damage and are not necessarily waste. For such products, each store within the mall must have its own arrangements with suppliers to recall them and replace. The good thing is that most suppliers acknowledge that handling during delivery can lead to unnoticeable damage during inspection of the consignment. Customer handling can also be an issue, in which case the store will negotiate with the supplier regarding the fate of those goods. Either the supplier will take the item back or find a way to deal with the customer who damaged them in the first place. However, if the customer who damaged them cannot be located, then the retailer would have to suffer that loss.
The largest percentage of unsold stuff that can not be resold mostly affects food-related industries. If one scrutinizes the organic nature of food, you will see that it makes it difficult to have a return policy… because who would want to eat expired food anyway? In most parts of the world, there are lots of people suffering from shortage of food and this makes it immoral for food businesses to simply discard unsold food. To resolve this, they normally make arrangements with humanitarian organizations that provide food to those that cannot afford it. From those services, we find community-based organizations such as soup kitchens catering to the basic needs of the homeless arising.
The stores that sell non-perishable items such as electronics often donate them to institutions like schools, correctional facilities, juvenile homes etc. Other items that are frequently disposed of in this manner include basic needs like clothes or shoes. There are some large companies in developed countries which collect these and ship them to third world countries. This is normally done at a price which is considerably lower than the initial asking price.
In addition to that, shipping clothes to a poor country where people cannot afford them can be considered to be an act of good faith. Malls are getting bigger and busier as population grows in different parts of the world, resulting in a wide variety of things that can be used to turn a buck. For example, recycling is big business, churning out a wide variety of refurbished items that are in great demand around the world. On their part, upcoming malls are expected to create policies that provide for safe disposal as the world becomes more cognizant of the health of the planet.