In May 1981, we inaugurated our new building in Schwarzenburg. By this time, there was no halting the company’s upward trajectory. We more than doubled our turnover compared with 1973 and the Gilgen family carried on growing, reaching 265 employees. We were also active on an international level and engaged various retail agents and representatives. In addition to our presence in Germany, we were now also represented in the Netherlands and England with our own distribution channels.
In 1982, we put the first large installation (overhead bag conveyor system) into operation at the postal centre in Basel, Switzerland. At the time, the project was the biggest in Gilgen’s history in terms of revenue. The development phase took a full five years.
In 1983, the company’s founder, Jakob Gilgen Senior, handed over the reins to the next generation, with Jakob Gilgen Junior becoming CEO of the company.
Our company’s history unfortunately also includes a particularly negative turn of events. The storm of 4 July 1985 hit us hard, but despite the over CHF 1.3 million in damages that our buildings sustained, this powerful natural disaster never kept us from moving full-steam ahead: in 1985, we installed the highest system in Europe at the Jungfraujoch (3,475m above sea level), in addition to the lowest at the Red Sea (200m below sea level).
In 1986, the company celebrated its 25-year anniversary over two weekends. The event was attended by over 700 guests from Switzerland and abroad. We also hosted an open day, which was attended by 3,000 visitors who had shown a keen interest in the company.