Key milestones in the history of the Grass Roots Group

1980
  • 1 April The Grass Roots Partnership Ltd. formed by David Evans and Jim White, based in Tring High Street
1981
  • Our first Mystery Shopping report reveals findings from over 1,000 visits to car dealerships, and advises on how to improve customer service
1986
  • Acquisition of Bonusplan (Bonusbond Gift Vouchers) and Promotions House Group
  • The Partnership is renamed The Grass Roots Group PLC, and becomes an affiliate of the WPP Group
1988
  • Move to Pennyroyal Court - a converted stable block - and Creative Studio established
1992
  • Awarded British Standards Institute BS EN ISO 9001
1997
  • Grass Roots Ireland is incorporated
  • Disabled mystery shopping added to portfolio of services
1998
  • Options' reward catalogue published, featuring over 700 gifts
  • The Challenge of Disability' research report is released
2000
  • Joint initiative with I&dEA (now LGID) is launched to improve knowledge of the needs of Britain's disabled people, based on diversity awareneness distance learning and testing for employees as part of the induction process
2001
  • Grass Roots UK incorporated
  • Grass Roots Spain opens
  • Employees raise over £50,000 for KidsOut charity as part of '21st birthday' celebrations
2002
  • care-4 (electronic childcare vouchers) and Options25 (online reward catalogue) go live
2003
  • Acquisition of Projectlink and Recovery Management Services Ltd; Grass Roots OneFee opens
2004
  • Turnover exceeds £100 million for the first time
  • Grass Roots France opens in Paris
  • CareAware and bike4work go live
2005
  • Acquisition of BitTime (based in North and South America), Shopcontrol Deutschland GmbH and Parallel Promotions
  • Launch of grgCard - the first worldwide reward card
  • Grass Roots UK wins four Golds at ITMA (Incentive Travel & Meetings Awards) for work with Coca Cola, Mirror Group Newspapers and O 2
2006
  • Maritz Europa becomes largest acquisition to date; BDR joins the UK business to strengthen Digital Marketing and Loyalty
  • Acquisition of a major shareholding in Spectrum Events AG in Switzerland
  • Worldwide reward platform, Global Options, goes live
2007
  • Asia Pacific regional office opens in Singapore
  • Acquisition of Delegate Management Services (DMS) and MMM
  • Grass Roots UK is listed in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For
2008
  • Grass Roots APAC offices in India, China and Australia open
  • Acquisition of venue sourcing specialist company, HBI
  • Acquisition of Tajonline, an online reward and gifting business in India
  • Grass Roots UK reaches 53 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For
  • David Evans, Chairman, is awarded an MBE by The Queen
2009
  • Grass Roots UK listed for the third year running in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For
  • Options25 orders reach one million
2010
  • Grass Roots UK is ranked 35 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For
  • Acquisition of Cyclescheme
  • 30th anniversary celebrations include a spectacular open air music concert - The Spirit of Tring - for over 3,000 employees, clients and local people, raising more than £70,000 for local schools and sports facilities
  • Grass Roots UK certified with ISO 27001
  • Grass Roots UK achieves 40% reduction in carbon footprint, ten years ahead of target
2011
  • Grass Roots UK Apprenticeship Scheme launches with guaranteed jobs for successful participants
  • Grass Roots UK joins the Engage For Success Guru Group, feeding into the Government's Task Force on employee engagement
2012
  • Grass Roots UK is listed for the fifth time in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For
  • Grass Roots UK Digital Marketing team reaches fourth in New Media Age's Top 30 Design and Build Agencies
2013
  • David Evans MBE retires as Chairman, and remains on the Board
  • New Executive Board is formed with Richard Bandell as CEO, John Bunting as CCO and Andy Lister as COO
  • Restructuring creates four divisions: Employee Solutions, Customer Engagement, Consumer Promotions & Channel Incentives and Meetings & Events
2014
  • Grass Roots is relisted in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For
2016