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Expected changes in the safety and protective market in 2010

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IFAI’s Safety and Protective Supplier/Manufacturer Climate Survey revealed these expected changes in the 2010 market:

  • > Period of growth in the industry
  • > Continued price cutting competition, which will squeeze margins
  • > Continued emphasis on lean manufacturing processes throughout the supply chain
  • > Emphasis on improving and implementing new products
  • > Continuous growth from understanding the synergies among product applications
  • > Growth based on new codes and regulations—particularly enforcement of codes
  • > Decline in sales to educational facilities
  • > Introduction of new fibers, new blends and new methods of sourcing raw materials
  • > Some consolidation of suppliers and manufacturers

Suppliers and manufacturers in the safety and protective visibility and cut/abrasion markets are hoping for a boost in sales from an expected 8 percent increase in road construction in 2010—fueled by the U.S. government’s stimulus program and an improved economy—projected 3 percent GDP in 2010, versus the -2.4 percent that occurred in 2009. Key markets like the military clothing and textile and thermal markets will be buttressed by the $2.4 billion budget expected for clothing and textiles for U.S. military troops in 2010. In summary, positive developments occurring in the U.S. safety and protective textile industry in 2010 make a projected growth rate of 7-8 percent achievable.

eff Rasmussen is IFAI’s director of market research.

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