November '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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4 0 P R I N T W E A R N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 9 Play it Safe! T he global workwear market is ex- pected to be valued at $41 billion by 2024, according to Global Industry Analysts, which means it has tremen- dous market value for decorators. To better equip shops with the knowledge they need to undertake workwear, this article outlines insights on some of the big decoration con- siderations and challenges that come with serving this market. Before bringing the tri- als and tricks of this market to the forefront, let's look at what the experts say about its value and the clientele shops can serve. MARKET VALUE What does the workwear market offer decorators that other segments might not? According to sources, consistency, high- volume, and manageable orders. Nadir Zulfiqar of Bayside says, "Work- wear is the lifeblood of the working people." In other words, it can be a consistent and lucrative market segment to explore due in part to its tendency to draw high-volume orders. Furthermore, this market isn't go- ing anywhere as long as there are blue-collar workers in need of safe, durable work attire. Howard Potter of A&P Master Images and Corey Pendergraft of Signco Designs agree, noting workwear clientele typically set a yearly budget for workwear and look to sign contracts for at least a year, which means shops can count on the steady, manageable work. Potter says these jobs are easier to run and train new staff on, which can often be necessary when taking on larger orders. While the global workwear and uniform market has a growth rate of 5% annually, Jeanene Edwards, Fruit/JERZEES Active- wear, says this segment opens up the doors to an extensive customer base who wants company branding on the clothes of its employees. Branding includes company names, employee names, logos, and even mission statements. Pendergraft argues the steady workflow in this segment isn't the only value to decora- tion businesses. "Once a relationship is es- tablished, these companies can reach out to you for a variety of other goods as well, such as promotional items for an event they may sponsor or more corporate styles such as embroidered polo shirts," he adds. Promo- tional items include pens, tote bags, head- wear, and wide-format signs or banners. Andrea Cancellieri, GAME Sportswear, says the workwear segment is relatively new within the apparel printing industry compared to other markets. High-visibility (hi-vis) safety apparel is even more so. "The overall demand for hi-vis in the workplace has seen a huge increase due to stricter safety standards being enforced. This has opened up new and lucrative revenue streams and business opportunities for many embroi- derers, screen printers, and promotional products distributors looking to increase their customer base," Cancellieri argues. KEY CLIENTELE The increased customer base Cancellieri mentions is a broad one but can include end wearers in any blue-collar working sce- nario, including industries like safety servic- es (police and firefighters), unions, factory workers, corporations, nonprofits, colleges, hospitality and service, local government, construction, automotive and agriculture, as well as waste management and residen- tial or transportation services. According to Edwards, "The residential service industry has really grown and includes electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, residential telecom, and security services. Wearing THE MARKET VALUE AND DECORATION CONSIDER- ATIONS FOR WORKWEAR AND SAFETY APPAREL A L E X A N D R I A B R U C E

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