The Western European protective footwear markets now has a clear pan-European leader, compelling other participants to match pace whether through acquisition or geographical expansion. As the market undergoes profound structural change, new opportunities and challenges are emerging.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com), Western European Markets for Protective Footwear, finds that the market earned revenues of €737 million in 2006.
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The competitive environment of the European protective footwear market has experienced tremendous change recently. Not only has a single pan-European group emerged as the clear market leader, but significant transformation has been occurring across the rest of the market as well.
"Now that the dust has settled on the formation of the Jal Group as the market leader, other participants should be re-evaluating their position and looking for growth opportunities of their own," explains Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager Brian Balmer. "Just in the United Kingdom, for instance, the former leading brand exited the market before being resurrected under new ownership, while another key participant was recently acquired by the French personal protective equipment company Delta Plus, indicative of the widespread transformation occurring in the competitive landscape."
The other major change, which occurred in the last decade, is the highly increased number of safety shoes imported into Europe, which has irrevocably altered the market. In the last few years, the percentage of shoes sourced from Asia has doubled, and has had a profound effect on the market.
As a result, the main challenge that European suppliers face on a day-to-day basis is to convince new and existing customers to pay more for their shoe brands, which are generally more expensive.
"One way to achieve this is to build up a brand image which allows end-users to recognise products and encourage them to show more brand loyalty," advises Balmer. "Since it requires sustained investment to achieve and retain a good brand image in the market, only producers of a certain scale can readily do it. This could be another driver for further industry consolidation in the short-term future."
Western European Markets for Protective Footwear is part of the Performance Materials Growth Partnership Service, which also includes research on all other types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), in addition to research on plastics & polymers, coatings, adhesives & sealants, packaging and textiles. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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