FRENCH commercial laundry and drying equipment manufacturer Danube is to roll out a large, high quality range in the UK exclusively through Gloucester distributor Gillman’s.
Gillman’s, now the UK’s largest freestanding appliance distributor handling more than two million units a year with its own transport fleet, will deliver the full range of Danube appliances including: six front loading washing machines, seven tumble driers, three rotary irons, nine drier irons and five ‘barrier’ washing machines.
The washers will vary from 8kg machines to 55kg loads, offering high quality but cost-effective solutions to hotels of all sizes – and all backed up with an unmatched support and parts service.
The company is working with partner dealers around the UK, and at the helm of the Danube operation is Spencer Wallace, Gillman’s recently appointed head of commercial sales.
Danube is a French heritage brand of commercial laundry and drying equipment founded in 1947 in the small town of Lamotte Beuvron near Orleans in the Loire Valley. It has never been formally distributed in the UK.
Spencer has more than 18 years’ experience in the commercial Laundry sector working for top manufacturers like Electrolux and Miele in senior management roles, contributing significantly to their commercial success – and he has already placed a large order for Danube – products that are arriving in the UK, at Gillman’s huge distribution centre in Gloucester in February 2008.
Robert Gillman, MD of Gillman’s, which despite its size is still a family company, said: “We are delighted to be acting as UK distributors for Danube. It is a first class product with a build quality second to none.
“Following our experience of launching other brands we have ensured that we always have full stocks of models available plus spares in our 80,000 sq ft warehouse which guarantees a minimum down time in case of mechanical problems. We also have our own transport fleet to ensure prompt delivery.
“We will also be organising comprehensive training courses here in Gloucester for our customers’ maintenance engineers, so that in the unlikely event of a mechanical or electrical problem, it can be dealt with without delay.”
Danube products come with a 12 months parts guarantee, and Gillman’s is promising next day delivery on the bulk of spare parts.
Spencer said: “In my roles in other companies I have been working closely with Gillman’s for a number of years and the chance to come in and launch a completely new player in the UK market with fantastic products like Danube was too good to miss.
“It’s a terrific challenge and opportunity and I am really looking forward to it. Danube is new to the UK and I think this is the most exciting development in the commercial laundry sector I have seen in my 18 years in the industry.
“It is also an interesting time for the industry which is going through a period of change with a lot of movement within the market.
“We see the brand as a major competitor in the UK to the likes of Primus, Ipso Girbau and Electrolux.”
Spencer will be offering full support for Danube’s partner dealers, including assisting with generating and fulfilling sales leads, attending pitches where possible, and being on hand for any queries.”
He is currently establishing a UK website for Danube, which will feature partner dealers’ details to drive traffic directly to them, and is contactable on (01452) 509 050.
Danube is also investing in a full, national marketing and PR campaign to build brand recognition in the UK.