Why diversifying into workwear has become a popular stream for dealers
In the ever-evolving landscape of office supplies, resellers are continuously seeking new avenues to diversify their product offerings and cater to the evolving needs of their customers. One such promising opportunity lies in workwear. Beyond traditional office supplies, workwear presents a compelling and burgeoning market for resellers.
The shift towards hybrid work models
The way we work has experienced a seismic shift, accelerated by the global pandemic. Remote work, hybrid work models, and flexible arrangements have become the new norm. As employees adapt to this changing landscape, their attire needs are evolving too. Research conducted by HR consulting firm mercer in 2021 found that 73% of UK companies expect remote or hybrid working to be the norm in the future.
The importance of comfort and professionalism
With the blurring of lines between home and office, there is a growing demand for workwear that balances comfort and professionalism. Research by YouGov in 2020 revealed that 41% of remote workers in the UK felt that comfortable clothing was important when working from home. However, maintaining a professional appearance during video meetings and occasional in-person interactions remains equally significant. This duality underscores the need for versatile workwear options.
The eco-friendly workwear trend
Eco-consciousness is on the rise, and employees are seeking sustainable workwear choices. According to a survey by PWC in 2020, 57% of UK consumers were more likely to purchase sustainable fashion products. This sentiment extends to workwear, with employees increasingly interested in clothing made from eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing practices.
The opportunity for customisation
Workwear also provides an avenue for customisation, which can be particularly appealing to businesses looking to reinforce their brand identity. Uniforms with company logos or personalised designs are a powerful tool for brand recognition and employee cohesion. Research by the British promotional merchandise association (BPMA) indicates that promotional clothing is one of the most popular forms of branded merchandise.
Expanding product portfolios
For office supplies resellers, venturing into workwear allows for product portfolio diversification. Expanding beyond traditional office products can reduce dependency on a single product category and mitigate market fluctuations. Research by Deloitte in 2020 highlighted the importance of product diversification as a strategy for business resilience.
Enhancing customer loyalty
By offering workwear alongside office supplies, resellers can strengthen customer loyalty. The ability to provide a broader range of products that meet various workplace needs positions resellers as comprehensive solutions providers. Research by Harvard business review in 2019 found that companies that create “one-stop-shop” experiences for customers tend to have higher customer loyalty and retention rates.
Challenges and considerations
While workwear presents a promising opportunity, resellers should be mindful of certain challenges. These include:
- Product knowledge: resellers may need to invest in understanding workwear materials, styles, and trends to serve customers effectively.
- Inventory management: managing a new product category requires efficient inventory control to avoid overstocking or understocking.
- Supplier relationships: establishing reliable relationships with workwear suppliers or manufacturers is crucial to ensure product quality and availability.
- Marketing and branding: effectively marketing workwear products and integrating them into the existing brand image may require strategic planning and investment.
Workwear is emerging as a key opportunity for office supplies resellers, driven by the evolving nature of work, the demand for comfort and professionalism, the sustainability trend, and the potential for customisation. This diversification of product offerings can enhance customer loyalty and resilience in the competitive market. While challenges exist, resellers who strategically embrace workwear can tap into a growing market that aligns with the changing dynamics of the modern workplace.