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Strategic Analysis of the Western European Above-the-neck PPE Market 

  • March 2014
  • 214 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2057239


Table of Contents

Preference for Adaptable and Customized Products will Drive the Market

Executive Summary

•The Western European above-the-neck personal protective equipment (PPE) market generated revenue of € million in 2013. Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and France were the top xxmarkets accounting for xx%, xx%, and xx% of the total market revenue, respectively.
•The PPE market in Western Europe grew at a rate ofxx% in 2013. Market growth was driven by the relatively stable economies of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavian countries. The market experienced extremely low growth in Italy and contraction in Spain and Portugal in 2013.
•Growth is expected to pick up due to increased activity in end-user industries such as manufacturing and oil and gas as well as growing awareness among end users. The projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) isxx% from 2013 to 2018.
•The top 3 participants in Western Europe held xx% of the market revenue in 2013. Generic products and private labels constituted approximately xx% of the market share revenue.
•Increasing end-user awareness and preference for more customizable premium quality products, stringent safety regulations, fashion, and ergonomics are likely to emerge as the most important market drivers.
•The primary restraint to the market is the presence of low-cost private label products and cheap imports from Asia, which result in intense price pressure, especially in the head protection segment. Slow economic growth in Italy and Iberian countries will also act as a key restraint for the market.
•The level of compliance varies significantly across end-user industry and by regions. Compliance is higher in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries. In comparison, the safety regulations, as well as the compliance rates, are very low in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
•Compliance also varies depending on the end-user industry. The construction industry, in general, has a high compliance rate for head protection but relatively low compliance in other above-the-neck segments. High-end manufacturing, such as the automotive industry, also has high compliance rates. The oil and gas industry is believed to have the highest compliance rate due to presence of a large number of multinational corporations that ensure the use of high quality PPE for their employees.
•For the purpose of this study, the mining, manufacturing, utilities, transport, oil and gas, and construction sectors have been considered. The manufacturing sector dominated the market in 2013 with xx% in revenue share. The construction and utilities sectors had revenue shares of xx% and xxxx%, respectively.

CEO’s Perspective

- New product innovation, quality, degree of customization, multi-functionality, and value-added services serve as key differentiators in this mature market.
- It is important for manufacturers to form strong relationships with distributors in Western Europe.
- Eye protection revenue is expected to grow the fastest owing to the high degree of technical change and increasing compliance rates.
- Strong customer service and training programs are necessary to ensure customer loyalty.
- Acquisitions have helped companies strengthen product offerings to target markets and expand the regional customer base.

Market Trends

•The Western European above-the-neck PPE market is expected to expand at a moderate CAGR of xx% from 2013 to 2018. Growth in this market is expected to be driven by the introduction of innovative PPE solutions in the form of increased customization and adaptability aspects of the products.
•Product customization will play a key role with an increase in demand for prescription safety eyewear and custom-molded hearing protection. Due to an aging labor force, companies have started implementing prescription safety eyewear programs for their employees in the utilities, oil and gas, and manufacturing sectors. Similarly in hearing protection, the usage of custom-molded ear plugs is expected to grow due to their long-term cost benefits and superior levels of protection.
•Awareness plays a key role and the average consumer in this region is relatively well aware regarding the importance of product quality. This trend is more prevalent in regions of Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany. As a result, the Western European region has seen a steady growth in usage of premium quality products such as active ear muffs and auto-darkening helmets.
•Comfort is a key driver for the market and trends indicate that the manufacturers significantly invest in research and development to come up with new materials with qualities such as reduced weight and improved flexibility. Comfort and convenience for the end user is enhanced by introducing more adaptable products which integrate multiple forms of PPE into a single product.
•Companies operating in Western Europe need to establish strong partnerships with distributors, since a bulk of sales occur through distribution. The manufacturer-distributor relationship is essential as it allows the manufacturers to effectively penetrate unexplored markets in this geographically diverse region.

Material and Other Trends

•A key material trend in the PPE industry is research and development, leading to innovation and the introduction of more flexible materials for safety eyewear. Manufacturers such as 3M, Honeywell, and Bollé Safety have introduced their own product ranges of adaptable eyewear, which are designed to every individual. Another trend is the innovation of high-impact resistant and light-weight materials for use in the manufacturing of head protection.
•A number of key raw materials used in the manufacturing of PPE, such as high density polyethylene and polycarbonate, are derived from crude oil. The volatile situation in the Middle East has resulted in fluctuating oil prices in Europe. Owing to high competition, manufacturers have tried to keep prices stable or slowly increase them. However, such moves are likely to reduce profit margins.
•Some companies have started focusing on sustainable development of PPE by introducing environmentally friendly hard hats derived from organic matter. Other trends in sustainability include a focus on improving product recyclability.

Key Questions This Study Will Answer

Is the market growing? How long will it continue to grow, and at what rate?
What steps are existing competitors taking to address challenges in this market?
Who are the market leaders? How might the structure of the market change over time?
How will the structure of the market change with time? Is the market ripe for acquisitions?
Are today’s products meeting end-user needs? How are manufacturers marketing new products?
Which product attributes do end users find most important? How do these impact brand selection?

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