OSHKOSH, Wis. –Continental Girbau Inc. (Continental) celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015. Established in 1995 as the North American subsidiary of Girbau S.A. (Girbau), headquartered in Vic, Spain, Continental provides laundry equipment and systems to vended, on-premise and industrial laundries in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
Today, Continental generates a significant share of Girbau’s total export sales. As a result of Continental’s success in North America, Girbau has gained strength throughout the world and become more competitive in the United States and abroad.
Continental has grown by leaps and bounds since 1995 – expanding product offerings; serving new niche markets; establishing new brands, divisions and subsidiaries; investing in facility expansions and additions; expanding its professional distributor network; and continuing its commitment to environment, community, service and quality.
“I remember the first day at Continental,” said President Mike Floyd. “There were just two of us then. I sat on the floor of a vacant office building and wondered what I’d gotten myself into. We’ve come a long way since then – thanks to a lot of support from our staff, distributors and business partners. We’ve worked hard as a team to ensure Continental’s success.”
Continental, which employs 39 people in Oshkosh and 5 in Los Angeles, embraces a stellar employee benefits package; generously supports local organizations in need; adheres to rigorous environmental product standards; and actively partners with and supports Oshkosh area hotels, restaurants, printers, photographers and schools. Continental also owns and runs a local business – the Express Laundry Center – a full-service, card- and coin-operated, high-speed laundry offering wash/dry/fold, free WIFI, load & leave, drop-off drycleaning and more …
During today’s challenging economic environment, Continental flourishes. Through the past several years, Continental has established new key subsidiary companies, brands and divisions – carefully created and nurtured to generate new revenue streams and boost company growth, services, and uniqueness in the marketplace.
Continental Girbau West LLC, established in 2008, is a regional distributor of Continental products. The company provides California-based customers local assistance with vended, on-premise and industrial laundry design, planning, equipment selection, installation, training, financing, service, parts and marketing. Today, CG West revenue is nearly four times that of its first full year of business.
CG Express LLC DBA (Express Laundry Centers) is the subsidiary company representing Express Laundry Center in Oshkosh. This is a full-service vended laundry serving the Oshkosh area. Continental also uses it as a training area and example of a premier vended laundry.
CG Financing LLC is a subsidiary focused on creative financing for investors of laundry equipment. Through CG Financing LLC, Continental customers have access to a variety of financing plans and distributors enjoy more finacing freedom and opportunity.
Brands & Divisions
Continental Girbau, established 1995, provides a wide array of products to the vended and on-premise laundry markets. Continental Girbau products are found in veterinary clinics, spas, hotels, industrial laundries, commercial laundries, resorts, vended laundries, fire departments, universities and more … Continental Girbau is the flagship brand of Continental.
OnePress, established in 2000, provides a line of industrial ironing systems for high-volume laundries across North America.
Continental Creative Services (CCS), established in 2005, provides marketing and public relations services to Continental distributors and their customers. CCS provides marketing services to directly impact and improve Continental distributor success.
Girbau Industrial (GI), established in 2009, provides industrial laundry systems to customers throughout North America. GI products include a TBS-50 Tunnel Washing System, SPR-50 Water Extraction Press, ST 100 and 1300 Dryers; open-pocket dryers and washer-extractors; conveyor systems; ironers, feeders, folders and stackers.
Sports Laundry Systems, established in 2012, provides laundry systems for use in athletic laundries. Sports Laundry Systems are specifically designed to disinfect and properly clean items including uniforms, warm-ups, practice gear, and jerseys. Sports Laundry Systems benefit professional, collegiate and high school athletic operations. While in its infancy, the brand targets a new niche market with specifically designed laundry systems.
Gowth & Perserverance
Since 1995, Continental has grown to employ more than 30 team members in Oshkosh; offer five brands and divisions; and successfully operate three subsidiaries. During the hardest economic times, Continental has persevered by carefully analyzing the needs of the marketplace, and filling those specific needs through new and unique products and services.
Continental supports a team of committed employees, which is recognized for quality customer care and productivity. Not only does Continental maintain a very high employee retention rate – less than 1 percent turnover rate in the past five years.
Since establishment in 1995, Continental revenue has increased substantially. Revenue grew by 22 percent from 2001 to 2006, by 34 percent from 2006 to 2011 and by 21 percent from 2011 to 2014. Similarly, so has Continental’s product offering. Products now fit the needs of vended, on-premise and industrial laundries of all types and sizes. Altogether, Continental boasts 90 individual laundry products engineered for a variety of unique laundry systems.
In September 2012, Continental entered into an exclusive agreement with LG Electronics making Continental a U.S. distribution oulet for LG Platinum commercial and route laundry products. More recently, Girbau Industrial, a division of Continental, and Lavatec Laundry Technology Inc. teamed up within the United States and Canada. A collaboration agreement allows both companies to offer a wider catalog of industrial equipment choices.
Continental relies on a professional network of distributors, who sell, install and service its products throughout North America. Continental helps ensure their success through sales- and service-training workshops, national and regional advertising, exceptional customer service and close personal attention to quality.
Through the years, Continental has expanded facilities, as well. Since 2002, the company has grown warehouse space significantly, added a second floor office area, and developed two laundry showrooms – one boasting industrial equipment and the other displaying vended and on-premise offerings. Today, Continental’s headquarters spans 67,500 square feet.
“What drives our success is our people,” said Floyd. “Our products are the best, and our people are better. We do things others don’t do. We are a boutique player with a specialized, talented staff.”
Vision for the Future
Continental’s vision for the future is more of the same. “Our vision is to continue to expand products to allow us to reach new markets and look for opportunities in niches, versus mainline market segments,” said Floyd. “In doing so, we will continue to expand our staff and facilities to take full advantage of these new opportunities.”