|Traded as||NYSE: UNF
S&P 600 Component
|Industry||Apparel industry, Workwear, Uniform service|
|Founder||The Croatti family|
|Headquarters||Wilmington, Massachusetts, United States|
Number of locations
|United States, Canada, Europe|
|Steven S. Sintros (President & CEO)|
|Revenue||US$ 1.59 billion (FY 2017) |
|US$ 110.3 million (FY 2017) |
|US$ 70.2 million (FY 2017) |
|Total assets||US$ 1.8 billion (FY 2017) |
|Total equity||US$ 1.45 billion (FY 2017) |
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||UniTech, UniClean, UniFirst-First Aid Group|
UniFirst Corporation is a uniform rental company based in Wilmington, Massachusetts, United States, that manufactures, sells, and rents uniforms and protective clothing. UniFirst employs more than 12,000 people and has over 230 facilities in the United States, Canada, and Europe, including customer service centers, nuclear decontamination facilities, cleanroom locations, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants.
UniFirst was founded in 1936 by the Croatti family, under the name of National Overall Dry Cleaning Company. The company began in a horse barn that had been converted into a makeshift laundry and its equipment consisted of a single washing machine and a delivery truck. It served Boston area factory workers and other laborers, whose heavy soiled work clothing needed to be cleaned frequently. The National Overall Dry Cleaning Company was incorporated in Massachusetts on October 6, 1950.
In the 1980s, UniFirst was sued by residents of Woburn, Massachusetts in a class-action lawsuit. The residents alleged that Unifirst, along with two other firms, had released pollution that had leaked into the water supply, and that this was a cause of increased instances of leukemia in the town. UniFirst settled with the residents without going to trial, for a sum of one million dollars. This episode was featured in the non-fiction book A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. As of 2009, UniFirst's enivronmental record has improved; it has received awards for its water treatment processes from the Missouri Water Environment Association and the Water and Wastewater Utility Special Service Division of Austin, Texas, among others.
In 1991 Ronald Croatti became the chief executive officer of the company. He continued his rise in 1995, when he became the company president, and again in 2002, when he became the chairman of the board. In 2011, UniFirst featured in an episode of the reality television series Undercover Boss.
Products and services
UniFirst supplies uniforms and protective clothing, as well as restroom and cleaning products such as floor mats, mops, air fresheners and soap. Products that it manufactures in-house include work shirts, work pants, outerwear, and flame-resistant work apparel. It also manufactures a majority of the garments it places in rental programs.
UniFirst subsidiary companies include Green Guard, UniTech Services Group, and UniClean. Green Guard is a corporate supplier of first aid equipment; UniTech provides laundering and decontamination services to the nuclear industry; and UniClean supplies clothing and services related to cleanrooms. UniFirst also has a Canadian uniform rental subsidiary called UniFirst Canada.
- Anderson v. Cryovac, Inc. for suit by residents of Woburn, Massachusetts
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- Laurie Pasiuk (30 April 2006). Vault Guide to the Top Business Services Employers. Vault Inc. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-1-58131-402-1. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- "History of UniFirst Corporation". FundingUniverse. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
- Moody's Investors Service (May 1984). Moody's industrial news reports. Moody's Investors Service. p. 3804. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Marshall, E (1986). "Woburn case may spark explosion of lawsuits". Science. 234 (4775): 418–420. doi:10.1126/science.3764418. ISSN 0036-8075.
- Elisa Bergslien (15 May 2012). An Introduction to Forensic Geoscience. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 437–438. ISBN 978-1-4051-6054-4. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "UniFirst Wins Awards for 'Green' Laundering Processes". American Laundry News. January 12, 2009.
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- Dishman, Lydia (January 7, 2011). "Undercover Boss: How UniFirst Keeps Margins Up on Uniforms Without Losing Its Shirt". CBS News. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- "UniFirst Corp (UNF)". Reuters. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- "Green Guard". Green Guard. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "UniTech Services Group". UniTech Services Group. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "UniClean Cleanroom Services". UniClean. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "UniFirst Canada". UniFirst Canada. Retrieved May 3, 2015.