Fishers casts a wider net in cleanroom garment laundering

Published: 20-Nov-2014

Fishers Services has for many years been a big player in the UK linens and laundry business but a small player in cleanroom garment laundering. Recently it expanded and is now providing a national bespoke service. Susan Birks visited the cleanroom facility in Livingston to find out more

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The recent past has seen fierce consolidation in the UK cleanroom garment laundering sector, leaving only a couple of players set up for large capacity, highly automated services and a handful of smaller companies offering local cleanroom laundering services. At one time, Fishers Services would have fitted the latter category – the leading textile rental, industrial workwear and laundry business serving Scotland and the north of England was big in the hotel market but small scale in terms of its cleanroom laundering operations. But more recently the company has changed tack, and has invested in its cleanroom laundering services with the aim of offering its bespoke service more widely across the whole of the UK.

Founded in the 1900s, Fishers was built up by five generations of one family. The company had one of the very first cleanroom laundry businesses, started in Aberfeldy some 25 years ago. But in 2003, when the family sold its majority share, the company went through a series of refinancing deals. Now it is majority-owned by investment fund Caird Capital, backed by the Lloyds Banking Group.

The company acquired the cleanroom laundry business of Origin in June 2012, and two of the directors have stayed with Fishers: Joe White, Divisional General Manager, looking after Cleanroom, Workwear and Chefswear; and Jim Polasik, General Manager, Garment Sales. Aiming to carry through the expansion plan (while maintaining the company’s traditional family-run business values), is Michael Jones, who was appointed Group MD in June, having been with Fishers since 2000.

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