The market of protective footwear has shown solid growth over the last 30 years, and is forecasted to continue to develop positively in the coming 20 years as well.
At Dunlop we are active in different markets and regions across the world. Although specific product categories and geographic areas can develop differently, we believe that the following fundamental trends will contribute to long-term growth protective footwear market.
- End users focus on active lives: As consumers’ disposable income has risen over time, we have seen increasing value allocated to outdoor activities.
- Consumers are fueling the next generation of Farm to Table farming: the next generations of farmers are starting smaller Consumers are more likely to engage in a variety of sports and outdoor activities than in the past – e.g. hiking one day, biking another and kayaking a third. This drives the need for consumers to be able to carry gear for multiple activities.
- Consumers are active longer: As consumers tend to be active at older ages, we have seen increases in sales among the 40+ age group. A group who enjoys sports and outdoor activities and who tends to have more disposable income to spend on high-quality, premium products.
- Self-employed Professionals: The rise of self-employed professional in construction and other industries has created a more direct to consumer approached that has see Dunlop go digital to meet this rising demand.
- Consumers want to be connected at all times and share their experiences: With the ever-growing trend of interconnectivity and desire to share their favorite moments, consumers bring along their electronic devices during more activities, driving the need for solutions to transport and protect those devices.
- Consumers are increasingly aware of which brands and products they want: With the ability to search information that is readily and globally available, consumers either seek out the cheapest solution or brands that they can connect to and trust, and that offer product features and more options for their needs. This drives the trend towards globally leading brands that stand for strong values – always delivering high-quality products that are functionally smart, aesthetically pleasing and more high-end.
- Growing GDP and a related increasing consumer interest in sport and outdoor activities in developing economies: With increased income and ability to live active lives in emerging markets, a new consumer base is growing in countries such as Australia & New Zealand, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
We have been growing in this sector over the past few years and work extensively with a focus on organic growth to secure the necessary product portfolio and organizational structure to capture opportunities. In addition, we will continue to explore strategic add-on acquisitions in product categories and segments that Dunlop can set the new standard for comfort and safety.
At Dunlop Protective Footwear, we see a growing trend among major retailers to reduce their number of suppliers, relying more and more on key suppliers for product innovation and breadth, as well as supply chain and customer service. These retailers have begun demanding more from their partners in terms of timely delivery of goods, consumer service, inventory control, strong well-positioned brands, and consumer insights. Having worked closely with the world’s leading retailers, companies like Dunlop Protective Footwear are better able to serve retail. And over the past few years our retail efforts – under the banner of the Dunlop Destinations program, with staff training, planogram reviews, and merchandizing programs – were further cemented for continued growth.