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Gloucestershire Business News

PICTURES: Family firm Gillman’s celebrates its 50th anniversary

Fifty years in business is worth celebrating - and Gillman's decided to use the occasion to thank it's staff for the company's ongoing success.

Owners of the Gloucester-based family run domestic and commercial appliance retailer invited staff and some of its valued customers to a giant party at Cheltenham Racecourse.

It was an evening of celebration and also of emotion. Staff were honoured for their long service with special awards, with the presentation including taking a moment to remember one of their colleagues, Ian Olive, a stalwart of the firm who died shortly before the official anniversary celebrations.

Mark Owen, editor of Punchline-Gloucester.com and managing director of Moose Marketing and PR, compered the evening.

Guests watched a series of short films profiling the company and championing its people, which also included a moving tribute to Mr Olive, which featured a recording of the man himself and a heart-felt tribute from group CEO, Robert Gillman.

Originally a service and repair business established by John and Erika Gillman in 1969, the company has expanded and diversified into many sectors of the electrical and gas appliance industry. This includes national distribution, retail and servicing of both domestic and commercial appliances.

With the third generation of the family now involved, Sarah, John, Richard and Lee, the company has its sights still firmly set on the future, with a commitment to provide consistent professional service to all their customers.

Robert joined the company in 1970, closely mentored by his father. He was followed by his sister Annabelle (group company secretary) and brother Adrian, who heads the Tewkesbury distribution operation of the group.

Gillman's grew from humble beginnings operating from a small shop in Ryecroft Street, Gloucester, expanding to its current premises in St Oswald's Road.

Mr Gillman said: "I began working alongside my father while still at school. We learned the trade 'parrot-fashion' in those days. I would dismantle a machine, taking out 90 wires and putting every one back from memory. "These days our engineers are involved in laptop diagnostics and our training programme is comprehensive and essential."

Despite the changes in the mechanical side of the operation, Mr Gillman believes that the basics of good business never changed.

He said: "Gillman's is a one stop shop, specialising in the retail, domestic and commercial sector, offering personal service and excellent product knowledge for the appliances we supply. This includes renting, installing, servicing and even detergent dosing for commercial machines.

"We are very passionate about 'Gillman's the family business.' Many independent businesses are sadly disappearing from the high street.

"If you are supportive of a family business, then you can be sure you are going to experience a personal level of service every time.

"It isn't only the customers that are loyal to Gillman's, many of our staff members have worked for the company for a long time, which is testimony to the management style of the directors and the culture of our business" said Mr Gillman.

Today Gillman's retail and service departments consist of 82 employees, and are part of the Gillman's group with a distribution division in Tewkesbury, giving a combined staff total of 220.

The company stocks a wide range of brands and is famous for its personal customer service and knowledge and extensive variety of appliances which includes washing machines, dishwashers, cookers, range cookers, fridges, freezers, fridge freezers, TVs, vacuum cleaners and small household appliances.

For more information, visit www.gillmans.co.uk or call 01452 528776.

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