Universal Unilink was born out of the industrial laundry and uniform business in 1995. When Allan Fowler, company president, noticed a trend toward consolidation which was hurting the competitiveness of smaller, independent businesses in the industry, he decided to take action. Fowler wanted to keep the playing field level and find a way to help independent businesses become strong and continue growing in their markets despite the trend toward national chains.
Fowler brought together independent businesses in the industrial laundry and uniform industry to form a buying group whose volume would be viewed as a whole, thus receiving the discounts reserved for high-volume dealers. He negotiated with top vendors to accept each member of the group based on the combined volume and Universal Purchasing Association was created.
In 2009, due to the changing business environment and some suppliers electing to change their business strategy to further industry consolidation, Universal entered into negotiations with UniLink Partners, LLC. As a result, Universal purchased the assets of UniLink to create Universal Unilink in January 2010.
Today, Universal Unilink has grown to become the largest independent group of its kind with hundreds of millions of dollars per year in total estimated volume.
In addition to industrial laundry and uniform dealers, Universal Unilink has members that are direct sellers of: executive apparel, casual apparel, wearable and promotional products, industrial laundries, public safety uniforms, formal wear, and medical uniforms. It has numerous preferred suppliers and more direct sellers than any other buying group.
Although Universal Unilink has grown, its mission has stayed simple: “Help independent businesses grow, be competitive, increase their buying power, and at the same time increase profits.”
Can your business afford to not take a look at joining Universal Unilink? Choose your industry and learn more!