87. ZigZag Global
The online customer returns portal helping UK retailers manage returned items from 130 countries across the globe
Founder: Al Gerrie and Laurence Guy
Founded: January 2015 (launched September 2016)
During his 20 years in retail, Al Gerrie saw that rapid growth of international e-commerce was putting a strain on UK retailers, who were having to manage increasing online returns from customers across the globe.
Keen to help retailers increase the speed of their refunds and cut the cost of returns from overseas, Gerrie teamed up with online marketplace expert Laurence Guy to found ZigZag, an innovative online returns portal with truly global ambitions.
Initially, the duo found raising capital difficult. However, it turned out the crowd was eager to invest in the concept, and a campaign on equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube brought in almost £25,000 more than their initial £100,000 target.
Since, they have built a network of 200 partnered warehouses and 50 couriers, and can now manage online returns from 130 countries around the world. Claiming to decrease the cost of returns by 50% and cut waste and carbon emissions by 65%, ZigZag’s innovative model is reducing strain on UK retailers on a grand scale.
ZigZag is used by a number of retail giants including Top Shop and Top Man, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Burton and Soletrader, which noticed the disruptive start-up when it won the 2016 Innovation Award at the World Retail Congress.
Having already brought ZigZag a Sustainability Innovation Award, 2017 is also set to see ZigZag bring on large new clients, which the start-up says are eager to license its software.
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In continuing to work towards their goal of building “the greatest returns management platform in the world”, Gerrie and Guy are truly helping to solve a global issue in the retail industry.