Company history

2014
  • New CEO

    Global Blue announced the appointment of David Baxby as Chief Executive Officer.

2013
  • The Global Blue Card

    Global Blue launches the Global Blue Card which offers a new model for Tax Free Shopping so globe shoppers can shop in a smarter way. This will set the bar for Tax Free Shopping in the digital age.

2012
  • Globe Shopper index APAC

    The Globe Shopper index is expanded to include the Asia-Pacific region; Operations start in Japan and Uruguay.

2011
  • Globe Shopper index Europe

    Global Blue teams up with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to launch the Globe Shopper Index, ranking Europe’s best shopping cities

  • Market Intelligence

    Global Blue Intelligence division launches three new products: The Briefing, The Review, and The Dossier; eTRS, the Electronic Tax Refund System is developed on behalf of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore; Currency Choice launches in Taiwan.

2010
  • The Global Blue Brand

    The Global Blue brand is launched to reflect the multi-dimensional nature of the company, which now encompasses a range of services, including: Intelligence, Marketing Services, Retail Technology solutions, and the Global Blue Academy, alongside Currency Choice and Tax Free Shopping. Global Blue focuses on travellers as well as merchants to maximise the benefits for both.

2009
  • Visitors Magazine

    Global Refund introduces Visitors Magazine. Visitors Magazine gives insights in the world's most valuable customers, the globe shoppers.

2007
  • Global Refund Transaction Solutions

    Global Refund introduces Transaction Solutions, integrated transaction processing systems; A Tax Free Shopping programme is introduced to frequent shoppers living in Switzerland and shopping in Germany.

2006
  • Currency Choice expands in Europe

    Currency Choice launches in Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

2004
  • Thailand new market in Asia

    Currency Choice begins in Thailand, the fourth non-EU country to offer the service; Ten new states join the European Union. Global Refund opens operations in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

2002
  • Enters the Chinese Market

    Global Refund enters the Chinese market and opens Refund Offices in Beijing and Shanghai; Tax refund operations start in Canada and Lebanon; Nearly 10 million international travellers use Global Refund services.

2001
  • Global Refund's Dynamic Currency Conversion service

    The company’s second product a Dynamic Currency Conversion service (initially named First Currency Choice) is introduced. This new service enables travellers to pay in their own currency at the point of sale.

1999
  • 3 new markets open

    Three new markets open: Argentina, South Korea and Poland. Eight million travellers receive refunds through Global Refund, while the number of affiliated retailers reaches 140,000.

1998
  • Responding to the Japanese demand

    Marketing and Refund Office networks are set up in Japan to serve the increasing demand from Japanese travellers.

  • New name – consolidated brand

    Europe Tax Free Shopping changes its name to Global Refund to reflect the international reach.

1997
  • New CEO

    Mr Per Setterberg was appointed CEO for the Europe Tax Free Shopping group.

  • More markets to provide Tax Free Shopping

    Business established in Switzerland, Ireland, Turkey and Croatia. More than six million tourists served by the network. The number of affiliated retailers exceeds 100,000.

  • Expanding into Asia

    Operations start in Singapore, the company’s first non-EU market.

1993
  • Tax Free Shopping and the EU

    The European Union drops borders between member states; The company’s international refund network begins to serve travellers at their final departure from the EU. Europe Tax Free Shopping expands to Spain, Hungary, Greece and Slovenia and some four million international shoppers benefit from the system.

1989
  • Enters into French speaking markets

    Operations start in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

1987
  • New name: Europe Tax Free Shopping

    The market position was strengthened by acquisition of companies in Germany, Austria and UK. To coordinate the administration all activities were gathered under Europe Tax Free Shopping ETS.

1985
  • More Nordic countries offering tax refunds

    Business starts in Norway and Finland.

1980
  • Sweden Tax Free Shopping established

    The company was established in the small town of Trelleborg in the south of Sweden. The very first refund was paid on August 4th; By then end of 1980, 350 retailers were affiliated.