ZigZag Global: Now is the time to scale our returns platform

ZigZag Global: Now is the time to scale our returns platform

ZigZag Global, the 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.

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 It replaces outdated paper-based “label in the box” solutions with a best-in-class online returns portal that offers a greater range of shipping options including post office,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.

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