The North America and Europe personal protective equipment distribution market was valued at USD 15,499.2 million in 2016. Stringent occupational safety regulations in various countries of Europe and North America have contributed to significant industry penetration over the past few years. Growing concerns toward employee safety at hazardous workplaces are anticipated to drive the personal protective equipment market over the next eight years.
Oil and gas E&P developments in addition to the ongoing projects manufacturing industry in the U.S. have attributed to the significant protective clothing and over the neck protection demand in the region. Enhanced connectivity of the internet coupled with the growing adaptation of e-commerce platforms among the distributors is anticipated to drive the personal protective equipment distribution sector over the forecast period.
The industry is highly competitive owing to a large number of participants present in the region and major distributors are striving for higher share and leadership. The global personal protective equipment distribution market has been witnessing strategic alliances such as technology licensing and inclusion of low price product assortments to gain competitive advantage.
Low-cost product portfolio can enhance the distributors’ reach across various regions, however, this strategic move is influenced by the new directive which governs the certification of personal protective equipment. As per the European Parliament and the Council of March 9, 2016, on personal protective equipment, the Directive 89/686/EEC will be canceled and replaced by the new Regulation (EU) 2016/425 by April 21, 2018.
This directive is expected to urge importers and distributors to abide by new regulations governing the certification, storage, and dispatch of personal protective equipment. These ongoing revisions in regulatory guidelines are expected to govern the personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution trend with a stringent check upon the faulty products, thereby minimizing the threat of uncertified entrants in the sector.
Hand protection emerged as the leading product segment, accounting for over 23% of the total revenue in 2016. Leather gloves accounted for a significant share of the protective gloves distribution in North America and Europe. A growing number of activities in cold environments and handling of sharp tools & hazardous chemicals are expected to drive the hand protection market in the long term.
Fall protection is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment over the forecast period and accounts for over 3% of the industry share by 2025. The fall protection equipment finds application across various industries such as power, construction, oil and gas, rescue & government. Increasing awareness about employees’ safety and mandatory safety norms across the aforementioned industries are expected to fuel demand in this segment.
The protective clothing distribution segment is anticipated to witness a growth of 6.9% over the forecast period. Significant penetration of chemical defending garments has attributed to market penetration across various industries such as chemical, oil & gas processing, refineries, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and industrial waste handling.
PPE distribution in the manufacturing sector accounted for over 25% of the market share in 2016. Stringent occupational safety regulations coupled with the enhanced workforce strength in manufacturing sectors across Germany, France, and Italy especially from sectors like fabricated metal products, automotive, rubber, and plastics have contributed towards PPE demand over the past few years.
Construction is anticipated to witness a growth of over 7.5% over the forecast period. Personal protective equipment in the construction industry are used to protect employees from cut, abrasion, and hot splashes. Although the construction of civil engineering projects has witnessed a decline in Europe, residential and non-residential building projects have witnessed a moderate growth over the past few years.
PPE distribution in the pharmaceutical sector accounted for 9% of the market revenue share in 2016. The U.S., Germany, and Switzerland cumulatively account for over 35% of the global pharmaceutical exports in 2016. Ongoing investment in drugs R&D across various countries including Switzerland, Netherlands, and Belgium are expected to steer demand for PPE such as protective clothing, gloves, respirators, and footwear over the next eight years.
North America is anticipated to emerge as the fastest-growing regional market with a CAGR of 7.4% from over the next eight years. PPE demand in North America is characterized by rapid growth in segments such as heat and fire retardant protective clothing. This growth is attributed to various revisions in the industry standards by regulatory agencies such as OSHA, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Europe accounted for over 50% of the revenue share in 2016. The personal protection equipment manufacturing and distribution markets are governed by the European Union PPE Directive 89/686/EEC. This directive has issued legal obligations to ensure that safety equipment provides the highest level of protection against workplace hazards.
North America and Europe PPE distribution industry is highly competitive in nature as the mortar and brick stores compete with e-commerce based multinationals for sustaining their market share. Shifting consumer preference towards online shopping has resulted in a financial loss for the retail stores in the U.S., Canada, and various countries in Europe. This is expected to steer consolidation among domestic safety wear suppliers, in order to enhance their logistics capabilities and subsequently the market share.
While companies such as Protek, Vanzeebroeck NV, A3 Safety, and Domeyer are involved in B2B clientele, companies such as J&K Ross, GenXtreme, AB Safety, Kellner & Kunz, and Safety Management Italy are utilizing e-commerce platforms for managing PPE distribution in Europe.
Leading e-commerce companies in the industrial safety supplies industry include Grainger and Amazon. Other key players in North America include Total Safety, Mallory, J.J. Keller, DXP Enterprises, and ORR. Key players in Europe include Kellner & Kunz, Haberkorn Group, Alsico Laucuba, AB Safety NV, GCE Group, and Etra Oy.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2009 - 2016
2017 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025
North America, Europe
U.S., Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K.
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at regional & country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2009 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the North America and Europe personal protective equipment distribution market on the basis of product, end-use, and region:
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2009 - 2025)
Head, eye and face protection
End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2009 - 2025)
Oil & gas
Food & beverage
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2009 - 2025)
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The shortage in supply of raw materials from Chinese manufacturers has resulted in a severe demand-supply gap. The manufacturers are further expected to be stranded on raw material orders owing to the logistics industry being significantly impacted due to lockdown amid COVID-19. However, the producers are expected to move away from China aiming to reduce the future risks that would affect the business and to reduce the manufacturers' cluster in a single country in order to smoothen the supply chain. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.
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