Workwear and uniform manufacturers leverage e-commerce
The Global Visionary Science Team at Frost & Sullivan reveals in their analysis - North American Workwear and Uniforms Market, Forecast to 2021 - that e-commerce is emerging as a viable and profitable channel for workwear and uniform manufacturers that have seen their rental channel come under pressure in recent years. This is likely to disrupt the supply chain significantly, as manufacturers have to rethink their inventory management strategies. Industry feedback suggests that inventory management is critical for ensuring manufacturers have the right amount of stock at hand to meet orders in a timely and efficient manner.
According to Frost & Sullivan, manufacturers have to realign their product portfolio to suit the preferences of millennials. "Manufacturers will benefit from tailoring their product portfolios to suit the end-user preferences of millennials that are looking for garments that combine fashion and function."
Additionally, those manufacturers that can successfully leverage e-commerce are likely to benefit going forward as the outlook for the rental channel appears sub-optimal. End users are looking for value addition in their garments such as moisture-wicking fabrics, stain-resistance and anti-microbial properties. Manufacturers that are able to bring to the market smart workwear are also likely to see their products gain acceptance among a niche end-user group that favors technologically advanced products. Stable regional dynamics are likely to characterize the forecast period. NAFTA renegotiations, however, are likely to weigh in on some manufacturers as they carefully evaluate investment opportunities.
"The uniforms and workwear market is poised for growth as manufacturers realign their product mix to suit the needs of a largely millennial workforce. Additionally, the emergence of e-commerce as a reliable sales channel is likely to shift pricing and sourcing strategies," stated Frost & Sullivan.
The analysis reveals the following growth opportunities:
- The millennial workforce offers significant opportunities for growth to manufacturers. This end-user base is looking for fashionable workwear garments that have a strong aesthetic element.
- E-commerce is set to become a viable channel as millennial workers prefer to shop online, which is likely to give a boost to online sales.
- The North American workwear and uniforms market is predicted to grow at 1.9% reaching $11.17 billion by 2021.
- The Trump administration is expected to bring back manufacturing jobs to the United States, which should put the brakes on the decline in blue workwear sales.
Manufacturers have the opportunity to reach out to an end-user base with waning interest by bringing to the market blue workwear that is visually appealing.