ZigZag Global, Leading Returns Management Platform For World-Class Retailers Is Acquired By Global Blue

Strategic acquisition sets the stage for global expansion and increased investment across the board

ZigZag Global, the award-winning returns management platform today announced it has reached an agreement with Global Blue — a leader in Tax-Free Shopping and Added Value Payment Services, to acquire the high growth business.

Global Blue acquires ZigZag Global

The acquisition will enhance ZigZag’s rapid growth by cross-selling its solutions into Global Blue’s extensive merchant network and enhance its value proposition through integration to Global Blue’s payments and data capabilities. Moreover, Global Blue will further invest in ZigZag to help it provide more value to its customers and accelerate its innovative returns solutions to the global market.

The deal follows a highly successful year for ZigZag which saw its technology power 100 global eCommerce retailers’ returns with a suite of solutions to optimise the customer returns journey. ZigZag recorded dramatic growth of more than 500% of its processed returns in 2020 versus 2019.

Currently ZigZag’s platform integrates with over 30 leading retail eCommerce software platforms, enabling retailers to access ZigZag’s reverse logistics network comprising 450+ carrier services and 220 warehouses in 130 countries. ZigZag’s technology platform fully digitalises the e-commerce returns process and improves the returns experience for both consumers and retailers. It replaces outdated paper-based “label in the box” solutions with a best-in-class online returns portal that offers a greater range of shipping options including post office, parcel shops, lockers, and collection from home, as well as allowing consumers to exchange products.

ZigZag was founded in in the UK in 2015 by Al Gerrie and Laurence Guy, and originally crowdfunded before being backed by Dolphin Finance Corporation, Ascension Ventures, Plug N Play, Circularity Capital and Maersk Growth.

Global Blue, pioneered the concept of Tax Free Shopping 40 years ago, is a strategic technology and payments leader, empowering merchants to capture the growth of international shoppers. Its integrated technology solution at 300.000 point of sale supports 29 million international shoppers to receive a seamless and personalised experience, when claiming back the VAT on good purchased abroad and when paying with their home currency abroad.

“The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to online we were already seeing in the market,” says Al Gerrie, Founder of ZigZag Global, who will remain as CEO. “It is now more important than ever that retailers invest in their returns proposition and keep pace with consumer demand.

This is excellent news for our customers and partners alike, the acquisition will enable us to expand our ecosystem and provide a greater quality of service across our network. Now is the time to scale our returns platform and enhance the experience for retailers across the globe. We’re excited about this acquisition; Global Blue is an ideal fit for ZigZag. We are confident the partnership will accelerate their growth even further, supported by an ambitious investment plan.”

Jacques Stern, CEO and President of Global Blue commented: “With this first acquisition since our listing on the New York Stock Exchange in August 2020, Global Blue has the ambition to become a strategic omni-channel technology and payments partner empowering merchants to capture growth opportunities.

ZigZag is an exciting, fast-growing, emerging leader in eCommerce, specialised in the management of eCommerce returns. The synergies between the two companies are strong and will help both of us to grow faster.” 

Ian Nolan, founding partner at Circularity Capital, commented: “The rapid growth of fast fashion and online retail has led to a major sustainability challenge, with too many returned items ending up in landfill. ZigZag’s solution results in significant cost savings for retailers, a superior customer experience and a reduction in product wastage.

We are proud to have supported the growth and internationalisation of ZigZag’s circular economy solution to date. Global Blue will be an ambitious new owner of ZigZag, with the global reach and resources further to accelerate the growth and impact of ZigZag”.

Oliver Finch, Partner at Maersk Growth said, “We are delighted for the ZigZag team in securing a bright future and long-term home for ZigZag Global. Maersk Growth backed ZigZag in 2019, and has since worked closely with the team to co-create a solution which will continue to serve Maersk e-commerce customers.”

“This acquisition will enable more retailers to take advantage of ZigZag’s award-winning platform and help them to compete on the global stage” said Laurence Guy, co-founder of ZigZag Global.

The transaction is expected to close on or before End of March 2021.


Media Contacts

Luke Toudup, Marketing Manager, ZigZag Global


About ZigZag

ZigZag Global is a software solution to help eCommerce retailers manage returns domestically and globally.

The ZigZag platform connects major retailers to a global network of over 220 warehouses to over 450+ carrier services in over 130 countries. ZigZag’s clients include world-leading retailers and carrier services globally.

 ZigZag delivers best in class technology and service to transform the returns experience globally. ZigZag’s mission is to reduce the cost, waste and friction associated with returns, boost customer loyalty and make retailers more profitable and sustainable.

ZigZag was the winner of the Best eCommerce Technology Innovation and Best Product at eCommerce Expo 2020, Innovation in Delivery and Logistics Award at the eCommerce Awards 2019, won the KPMG Best British Tech Startup 2019 (London round), was a finalist at The Circulars at the World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos, is listed in the Retail Tech Top 50, The StartUps Top 100, Disrupt 100. ZigZag won the 2018 Shop.org Disruption and Innovation Award, 2018 World Post and Parcel Awards for Ecommerce and Innovation, 2018 Postal Pitch in Washington, 2018 Millennial 20:20 Ecommerce Enabler, 2017 ShopTalk Startup award along with a 25,000 Euro prize. It also won the 2017 Sustainability Award in Milan, 2017 Innovation Award at IRX, StartUps 100 Winner 2017. 2016 Global award at the World Retail Congress in Dubai for innovation, Mark of Excellence – Disruptor of the Year 2016 – Supply Chain Awards, Winner at London Technology Week – GetInTheRing.

ZigZag is also proud to be a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

ZigZag is a British Company, headquartered in London. 


About Global Blue

Global Blue pioneered the concept of Tax Free Shopping 40 years ago. Through continuous innovation, it has become the leading strategic technology and payments partner, empowering merchants to capture the growth of international shoppers.

 The Group connects all stakeholders involved in the international shopping ecosystem, helping:

  • More than 29 million international shoppers receive a seamless and personalised shopping experience, enabling them to claim back the VAT on their eligible purchases when they shop abroad and to pay in their home currency at a guaranteed best rate,
  • More than 300,000 points of sale, including leading department stores and luxury brands, identify growth opportunities through smart data and intelligence solutions, increase footfall through data-driven marketing solutions and convert traffic into merchant revenue through innovative in-store technologies, 
  • More than 50 acquirers, at around 130,000 points of interaction, benefit from additional revenue streams and offer merchants and travellers Dynamic Currency Conversion options and other Added-Value Payment Solutions,
  • Customs & authorities in more than 40 countries increase country attractiveness and ensure a secure and compliant Tax Free Shopping scheme.

 In the financial year ending 31 March 2020, Global Blue processed 35 million Tax Free Shopping transactions with a total value of €18.5 billion sales in store, and 31 million Added-Value Payment Solutions transactions with a total value of €4.4 billion sales in store. 

Global Blue has over 2,000 employees in more than 50 countries.

For more information, visit http://www.globalblue.com/corporate/