Retail and Consumer

Major Gloucestershire family business increases gross profits, staff numbers and remains 'confident'

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 15 October 2020 9:40

Major Gloucestershire family business increases gross profits, staff numbers and remains 'confident'

“Very difficult trading conditions” have not stopped one of Gloucestershire’s best-known, respected and biggest family firms being able to deliver a little cheer with an increase in gross profits. 

Many may not have realised the modest showrooms off St Oswalds Road in Gloucester belonging to the premium and budget white goods supplier that is Gillman's (John Gillman & Sons (Electrical) Ltd) are the shop front of a £70 million-plus business. 

Its latest results for 2019, just published, show turnover at Gillman Electrical Group is down – from £78,860,522 in 2018 to £72,000,264 – but this year saw gross profits up on the previous year from £12,334,421 to £13,225,114. 

It also created jobs, with staff numbers rising from 189 to 233 as it expanded its empire – a feat all managed with the same three directors steering the ship 

“In these difficult times the directors are pleased to see that the gross margins have increased although the overall sales have fallen. 

The directors are confident the company will return to profitability next year,” said Adrian Gillman, who joined the firm straight from school aged 15 and is now chairman of the business which can trace its beginnings back over 50 years.

Once a customer steps foot into our showroom we provide the best service we possible can. We like to show all customers...

Posted by Gillmans Appliance Specialists on Wednesday, 17 June 2020

“During the year the group acquired the remaining 50 per cent of the shares in Merchant City Global Holdings Limited, which includes the company Merchant City Distributors Ltd. 

“These companies are based in Glasgow and provide the group with a base in Scotland to help with the servicing of customers in the North of the UK.” 

He added: “The directors are aware that although the group provides a superior service it is trading in a price sensitive sector of the economy. The group continues to closely monitor its cost level to ensure that adequate returns are maintained, in what are very difficult trading conditions.” 

In 2018 Domestic Appliances Online (DAD), set up just five years previously, distributed more than 400,000 appliances UK-wide, including brands such as Hoover, Miele, Zanussi, Bosch, Siemens, Beko, Hotpoint and its own Montpellier brand. 

It also supplies to housebuilders including Bellway, Taylor Wimpey, Bovis, Redrow and MF Freeman. 

The roots of the family business go back to 1969 and a service and repair business started by John and Erika Gillman. 

Group chief executive, Robert Gillman, joined in 1969 followed by his sister Annabelle, now group company secretary. 

Family members head up all division of the business. John (Adrian’s son), heads up the service division, Lee (also Adrian’s son) is managing director of Montpellier and Richard (Robert’s son), works in operations.