We might have to continue our predictions into February, since the month of January is pretty much over…how did that happen? January went by quickly, with a lot happening around GroupeSTAHL, the PPAI show in Las Vegas, the Imprinted Sportswear Show in Long Beach, the launching of CAD-CUT Direct.com, …I didn’t even have a chance to share my thoughts on Long Beach with you yet. I do plan to do so, but in the meantime, I have a list of predictions here from Brian McLeod, the General Manager of Stahls’ ID Direct and thought I would share this with you before January runs out…
ABOUT BRIAN: Brian logged 25 years in the decorated apparel, sporting goods, garment manufacturing and licensed product industries in Canada and the US before spending 12 years with Roland DGA Corporation, whose focus is in the sign and digital graphics Industry. Brian returned to the textile decoration business and his role at Stahls’ ID Direct in 2008. Here are his thoughts on what will happen in 2010:
BRIAN MCLEOD’S PREDICTIONS: 2010 will continue to challenge all of us as individuals, employees and companies. Although optimistic about the future of our industry in the long term and I definitely believe we will return to the Glory Days again soon, this is not going to happen in 2010.
What will happen in 2010 is that individuals and companies who are insightful, focused, driven and not afraid of hard work have the opportunity to achieve extraordinary results.
The stage is set for success to come in many different forms here are a few that I feel strongly about.
- As important as the internet will be to the growth of our industry, the concept of customers purchasing decorated apparel from local businesses is far from dead, on the contrary, the proliferation of textile graphics on the internet is expanding the awareness of just how dynamic and impactful a well designed t-shirt, team uniform or performance wear garment can be. Local garment decorators, sporting goods shops or imprinted sportswear professionals are well positioned to compete for this new business.
- Digital printing for textiles is still in its infancy and 2010 will see it become more main stream as it continues on a path to having a long lasting impact on the decorated apparel industry. As someone who spent 10+ years participating in the evolution of the sign industry into a digital graphics industry, I am confident that digital will have the same impact on the decorated apparel industry. If there is a paradigm shift (other than the internet) looming, this is it!
- In contrast, sectors of our industry we will see a move “Back to the Basics in 2010”. Pre cut letters for personalization will be rediscovered as fastest and least expensive way to instantly personalize a t-shirt, uniform, jacket or performance wear garment.
- The stage is set in 2010 for a strong move into entrepreneurial home based and store front businesses by the displaced workers in our society. The decorated apparel industry with relatively low cost of entry and learning curve is perfectly suited for this movement and the industry will show strong growth in this area.
- As much as we can say that we are in a simple business, the economy, competition and other factors make this a difficult time to be in any business!!! Companies should do their homework establish a focused plan and then trust their instinct in choosing suppliers. This is a time when we need to partner well: customer service, training, education, support and innovation are more important than price in the long run. The best companies in America have a reputation of partnering well and maybe more importantly partnering for the long term.
- The concepts of corporate and team identification as well as personalization will prosper as our economy rebounds, and people strive to identify and associate themselves with groups and organizations.
So, make your plans, expand the products and services you offer freshen up your showroom and advertising (web, print, social media, etc.), believe in yourself, remain positive, work hard and you too can share in the opportunities in front of us and achieve extraordinary results!
Thank you Brian for your thoughts…have a great weekend everyone.