Frost & Sullivan analysis reveals that the North American workwear and uniforms market is poised for growth as manufacturers realign their product portfolios to suit the needs of millennials in the workforce. Manufacturers are carefully evaluating new growth opportunities so as to bring value-addition to the end user.
New workwear is likely to take the form of moisture-wicking fabric, stain-resistance, and smart workwear for end users that are responsive to new technologies. Headwinds have characterized the rental segment leading to choppy growth. Manufacturers that are able to switch to eCommerce are likely to be able to successfully navigate any turbulence in the market.
The emergence of eCommerce as a viable sales channel is bringing to the forefront issues pertaining to inventory management. Manufacturers have to invest in tools that allow them to respond in a nimble manner; it becomes essential for manufacturers to stock the right amount of inventory so as to minimize wastage and optimize working capital management.
White workwear is expected to offer new growth opportunities due to increased hiring in healthcare and social assistance. Incumbents are well-positioned to take advantage of these growth opportunities due to robust product portfolios and efficient laundry facilities.
Manufacturers are likely to reevaluate the benefits of ancillary rental services so as to maximize the benefits to the end user. The provision of easy care is lessening the demand for laundry services.
Collaborations between workwear and uniform manufacturers and technology giants and start-ups are emerging. The possibility of new growth levers are likely, should the use cases for smart workwear be well defined. As style and design gain more prominence, manufacturers are likely to invest in design teams that can bring to the market aesthetically appealing workwear.
Growth in the uniforms segment is expected to be driven by increased allocation of spending on military, law enforcement under the Trump administration, which in turn, is expected to boost sales of uniforms. As uniforms continue to be worn as a symbol of pride, there is unlikely to be any major shift away from the traditional uniform design.
Region-level consolidation is expected to continue during the forecast period as incumbents seek to realize cost synergies and move further along the maturity curve.
Overall, the outlook for the uniform and workwear market is positive, as incumbents are well positioned to respond in a nimble manner to changing end-user preferences. Regional dynamics are also stable, which is expected to encourage workwear manufacturers to make investments in innovative garments.