Thanks to e-commerce and millennials, the workwear and uniforms sector will see some growth in the coming years.
According to a North American Workwear and Uniforms Market Forecast to 2021 analysis, conducted by the global visionary science team at Frost & Sullivan, manufacturers of workwear and uniforms that use e-commerce as part of their business strategy should see growth and profit opportunities by 2021.
“The uniforms and workwear market is poised for growth as manufacturers realign their product mix to suit the needs of a largely millennial workforce,” Frost & Sullivan said. “Additionally, the emergence of e-commerce as a reliable sales channel is likely to shift pricing and sourcing strategies.”
Companies keen to capitalize on the opportunity will have to rethink their inventory management strategies, however.
“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,” Frost & Sullivan said.
The North American workwear and uniforms market is expected to grow 1.9%, reaching $11.17 billion by 2021, according to the report.
And according to the report, millennials are the key customers driving that growth—and they’re looking for the right balance between fashion and function.
“Those manufacturers that can successfully leverage e-commerce are likely to benefit going forward as the outlook for the rental channel appears sub-optimal,” the report noted. “End users are looking for value addition in their garments such as moisture-wicking fabrics, stain-resistance and anti-microbial properties.”
This growth will also depend on external factors impacting U.S. manufacturing, more than just the right product via the right channel. According to Frost & Sullivan, the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations, could weigh on those manufacturers questioning their investment opportunities in light of the trade uncertainty. On a more positive trade note, however, the report said, “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.”