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Handling holiday returns helps fuel Lanham firm

Handling holiday returns helps fuel Lanham firm

In Optoro's sprawling warehouse in Lanham, dozens of workers scan, sort and pack toys, shoes, laptops, books, headphones, power tools — almost anything that consumers bought online and at stores then sent or brought back. The returned goods may be resold online, sent to wholesalers, recycled or donated.

Business is brisk this time of year for the Washington-based technology company, which processes and resells returned merchandise for some of the nation's biggest retailers. Americans returned $267.3 billion worth of goods last year, an industry report found, and the share of sold goods that are returned to stores ticks up over 10 percent during the holidays. Last...