ZigZag Global acquired by Global Blue

Strategic technology and payments leader Global Blue has acquired UK circular economy returns management company ZigZag Global for an undisclosed sum.

ZigZag Global will now integrate its solutions into Global Blue’s extensive merchant network. In addition. Global Blue is to invest in the ZigZag to improve its returns solutions even further.

Founded in 2015 by Al Gerrie and Laurance Guy, ZigZag saw explosive growth in 2020, with 500% more returns transactions than in 2019. It integrates with more than 30 leading e-retail platforms. It works into 220 warehouses in 130 countries. The system is fully digitised and replaces the ‘label in the box’ returns system with a best-in-class returns portal that offers a wide range of shipping options for the customer returning an item.

Global Blue has been around for 40 years ago and works to help merchants grow their international consumer base. It supports 29 million international shoppers through 300,000 points of sale, helping them claim back the VAT on goods purchased 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.