If Cintas had its way, you'd never agonize over what to wear to work. The #1 uniform supplier in the US boasts 900,000 clients (McDonald's, Royal Caribbean) and some 5 million people wear its garb each day. Cintas -- which sells, leases, and rents uniforms -- operates more than 430 facilities across the US and Canada; it leases about half of them. Besides offering shirts, jackets, slacks, and footwear, the company provides clean-room apparel and flame-resistant clothing. Other products offered by Cintas include uniform cleaning, first-aid and safety products, clean-room supplies, and document handling and storage. CEO Scott Farmer owns about 14% of the company. His father, Richard, founded the company in 1968.
Uniform rentals generate about 70% of Cintas' sales. The balance of its revenue is logged from uniform sales and its array of other products and services. Although it is the leading renter of corporate uniforms, the company still sees growth potential in this area of its business.
The company was busy in 2011 building its business across the board. Cintas acquired 27 business in 2011 vs. seven in 2010. It has been active in building its non-uniform operations, especially its document services unit, which saw a dozen newly purchased companies added to the segment in 2011.
The US recession and accompanying job losses had pushed Cintas to reel in discretionary spending and reduce inventories. Despite the effects of the turbulent marketplace, Cintas has been recognized as a top company, being named among the nation's "Most Admired Companies" by Fortune magazine. Report on Business magazine also ranked it among Canada's best employers. For the curious, Cintas employees must wear a Cintas uniform or business suit to work.
New York-based First Eagle Investment Management owns another 12% of Cintas. – less