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Global Blue Launches Global Blue Ventures to Support Its Omnichannel Market Expansion Ambition

Global Blue, today, announced the launch of Global Blue Ventures, a new entity created to identify, invest in and/or partner with third parties that offer market-leading retail technology solutions.

Global Blue Ventures was initiated in 2019, and officially launched in April 2021, to advance Global Blue’s ambition to be a strategic omnichannel technology and payments partner empowering merchants to improve their performance.

Extending Global Blue’s value proposal with innovative omnichannel solutions

Global Blue Ventures concentrates on innovative and promising new businesses, with best-in-class companies selected to support brands on their omnichannel path.

The Ventures program will focus on add-on technologies that can easily integrate with retailers’ core systems, allowing them to:

  • Optimise and digitalise their processes across the entire omnichannel customer journey: online, in store and at home
  • Capture customers’ identity and engage with them on a personalised one-to-one basis
  • Collect and cross-reference data to provide advisory services and actionable insights

It will focus its efforts on three key verticals and market needs:

  • eCommerce: how to boost conversion rates and improve return efficiency
  • Store digitalisation: how to digitalise in-store processes and experiences
  • Clienteling 2.0: how to engage digitally one-to-one with consumers

RetailTech market experts James Strabo, previously a founding member and Managing Director at Blackhawk Network and Managing Director at Westfield (OneMarket), and Andrew Carroll, Founder of Yocuda and formerly Director of Corporate Development at Westfield (OneMarket) will lead Global Blue Ventures. Their mission will be to pinpoint latest retail market trends, identify the best-in-class technology players for each vertical, test and collect retailers’ feedback and, where appropriate, drive investments in the retail technology partners that can further accelerate Global Blue’s omnichannel market expansion.

Advancing with investment in promising new verticals

Since its inception, Global Blue Ventures has already enabled Global Blue to join forces with several leading players including:

  • Yocuda: in October 2020, Global Blue acquired a minority stake in Yocuda, a leading digital receipt provider. Yocuda allows retailers to send content-rich, personalised digital receipts to consumers, whilst capturing data that allows for customer insight, management and engagement. Its technology can also be linked to a brand loyalty programmes. Yocuda is partnered with leading companies such as Marks & Spencer and Argos.
  • ZigZag Global: in March 2021, Global Blue announced the acquisition of ZigZag Global, a leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology provider. ZigZag replaces the traditional paper-based “label in the box” returns solution with an online portal that enhances the experience for consumers and streamlines the process for retailers across the world. ZigZag is partnered with leading retailers such as Selfridges and Superdry.

Jacques Stern, CEO of Global Blue:As a technology and payment partner for retailers, we are looking at extending our solutions on the full omnichannel journey, for both domestic and international shoppers. The network of RetailTech companies that we have started to create through Global Blue Ventures will enable us to co-create integrated solutions that achieve this goal and ensure we continue to meet our clients’ evolving needs.”

James Strabo and Andrew Carroll, Founding Partners of Global Blue Ventures: “ We are very pleased to be joining Global Blue and look forward to bringing our vision and expertise to help propel the business further into the RetailTech space. We are confident that the network of RetailTech partners we will build will give Global Blue clients access to the best-in-class solutions and will enable them to stay at the forefront of the latest omnichannel trends.”

ABOUT GLOBAL BLUE

Global Blue is a long-standing and trusted partner for retailers across the world. Its omnichannel technology and payments solutions empower its clients to improve their performance in the following areas:

  • Tax Free Shopping: After pioneering the concept of Tax-Free Shopping more than 40 years ago, Global Blue’s integrated technology solutions at 300,000 points of sale offer 13 million international shoppers a seamless and personalised experience when claiming back the VAT on goods purchased abroad.
  • Added Value Payment Solutions: Global Blue partners with more than 50 acquirers and Payment Service Providers across the world to provide retailers and hoteliers with a best-in-class FX solution that serves 16 million travellers and online shoppers at more than 130,000 points of interaction.
  • Ecommerce returns: Global Blue offers, through its ZigZag Global brand, an enhanced, fully digital returns experience to more than 12 million domestic shoppers by connecting retailers to a network of more than 450 carrier services and 220 warehouses in 130 countries.

A unique understanding of shoppers and their shopping history enables Global Blue to provide Advisory Business Intelligence services, helping retailers to identify revenue and costs opportunities, while its Consumer Engagement solutions help retailers to capture growth opportunities.

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 almost 1,500 employees and is present in more than 50 countries.

Global Blue is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker GB.

For more information : globalblue.com/corporate

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