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GAPbuster Asia Pacific buys Shop n’ Chek UK

15 February 2000
For immediate release

GAPbuster Asia Pacific buys Shop n’ Chek UK

GAPbuster Asia Pacific Ltd, founded by New Zealand entrepreneur Phil Prosser, has bought Shop n’ Chek UK, a licensee company which provides mystery shopping programmes to businesses throughout the European Union.

The purchase will potentially triple the size of GAPbuster’s operations worldwide.

“This purchase is significant in signalling GAPbuster’s continuing development as a multinational company and the expansion of its operations into an enormous market base,” said Managing Director of GAPbuster Asia Pacific, Phil Prosser.

“GAPbuster is a dynamic company and a proven category leader. The purchase of Shop n’ Chek UK is a further example of its vision and ability to build on past successes.”

“GAPbuster offers important benefits to its clients, including an ability to measure key performance areas across an organisation and to benchmark that performance against competitors. GAPbuster also identifies and enhances best practice within a company. Often its services are the catalyst for re-shaping company culture.”

Shop n’ Chek UK will be renamed GAPbuster Europe Ltd and operate as a sister company to GAPbuster Asia Pacific. The Managing Director of GAPbuster Europe will be Simon Mangos, former Managing Director of GAPbuster in New Zealand.

Shop n’ Chek UK’s client list includes Staples, Honda, Johnson & Johnson, Cheltenham & Gloucester and Waterstones. Formerly a licensee company of Shop n’ Chek worldwide, it has a company field force of 3,000 staff.

GAPbuster Asia Pacific is a leading online performance management company which evaluates the customer service standards of its clients. It was founded in New Zealand in 1994 by Mr Prosser when he established Shop n’ Chek’s first franchisee worldwide. Shop n’ Chek expanded into Australia in early 1997 and changed its name to GAPbuster Asia Pacific in 1998.

The company has had huge success, becoming the largest service improvement company in Australia and New Zealand and continuously building on a legacy of leading-edge service and commitment to the service vision of its clients. GAPbuster Asia Pacific’s client list includes many leading companies in the retail, banking, telecommunications, petroleum, fast food and fashion industries.

Data processing support for both GAPbuster Asia Pacific and GAPbuster Europe will be based in Melbourne, with online links transporting data to and from GAPbuster Europe’s UK office.
For further information please contact
Vivien Pullar ph: 04-4999-111


New Zealand entrepreneur and businessman Phil Prosser launched the world’s first Shop n’ Chek franchisee in New Zealand in 1994. In 1996, the company expanded into Australia, basing its processing operations in Melbourne. Two years later it changed its name to GAPbuster Asia Pacific Ltd.

In a four-year period, the company successfully developed its services beyond mystery shopping-type customer evaluation services to total performance management for clients, measuring over 300 service standards for Australasian companies. These service standards include customer satisfaction, site availability, health and safety, training, business planning and profitability.

A unique software system combined with a field force of 5,000 mystery shoppers (update figure) gives GAPbuster Asia Pacific a world-leading analytical capability.
Mystery shoppers are selected to match the client’s target customers and rotated regularly to avoid recognition and prevent bias. They are trained to observe service levels and translate their experiences into factual information.

GAPbuster Asia Pacific works with a wide range of companies in New Zealand and Australia, including banks, oil companies and high street retailers. It tailors service evaluation and improvement programmes for clients, many of whom have retail outlets in both countries.

Mr Prosser cites `excellent customer service’ as the key to GAPbuster’s competitive edge. He says the secret of GAPbuster’s success has been that it provides managers with tools to improve service not just measure it. Today’s companies know that the strength of their organisations lies not only in their balance sheets but also in the experiences customers have with them.

Mr Prosser is a former foundation marketing director of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission. In this role he was best known in New Zealand for launching and developing the Lotto and Instant Kiwi brands, developing the Lotto franchising system and the first full online lottery in the world.


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