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Dickies global work wear maker heads to India with big plan

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-12-12 11:00:00 – USA

Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company, a global work-wear maker originally an American based company has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with ID Overseas. This agreement authorises the use of Dickies’ brand portfolio in the design, manufacturing, marketing and sale of licensed products in India. Production and distribution in the region is expected to commence in January.

Dickies have analyzed and understood the Indian work wear and performance wear over three years found the Indian work wear needs are culturally different from global workwear needs. Indian needs are shifting towards safety and performance from the earlier priorities that were based more on looks or cost alone.

As India is seeing a huge growth in manufacturing and service sectors, with more investment coming in from international platforms. Dickies believe that this would translate to a bigger demand for quality work wear and performance clothing in these sectors. The key industries for work wear in India have traditionally been healthcare, hospitality and manufacturing. However, lately there has been an increase in use of uniforms in the organized retail, logistics, facility management, security and other sectors.

Dickies India will be primarily focusing on work-wear and performance wear for India. They plan to bring in the complete range of work wear and uniform solutions for healthcare, hospitality, school wear, industrial and also fire retardant clothing.

Dickies India has been known worldwide for the quality of work wear products and they hope to establish the same in India as well. They would also be launching their most popular work pants and shirts known globally for best fit and performance.

Indian work-wear segment is currently estimated at approximately US$219 million, a subset of the US$100 billion textile and apparel industry. The Indian school uniform market is highly fragmented, due to the nature of the demand with every school prescribing their own set of uniform.

The industry is largely dominated by unorganized players with small capacities. This offers an opportunity for the organized players with sophisticated technology and the ability to consolidate the market by tying up with large school chains and effective inventory management for smaller schools

Dickies India will produce most of the work wear uniforms in-house and performance uniforms will be manufactured by other nominated vendors. There has been a very positive and encouraging response from the distribution network since the official launch in November this year. They would also be appointing and training qualified distributors for South India as phase one.

The entire Indian domestic fashion and lifestyle clothing industry has evolved to a different level over the past decade. With multi-dimensional retail taking over the traditional individual tailoring concept, the scene has transformed to create various local, national brands as well as allowed the entry of international brands.

Dickies think the work wear and uniform market will take the same shape over the next ten years with demand for higher quality, performance and service. They primary focus is on B2B sales and would like to communicate with the core worker. They will adopt different marketing and advertising strategies to communicate their message like using sports, music and events.

Karthikeya R. Reddy is the CEO & Director of ID Overseas Pvt Ltd, Exclusive Licensee of Williamson-Dickies Mfg. Co. The Indian licensee (ID Overseas Private Limited) is a group company of Indian Designs Exports Pvt Ltd, which is one of the preferred suppliers for several highly respected global brands having capacity of producing 2 million garments per month.

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