Work And Safety Shoe Sales Moving Up

As the ’80s draw to a close, work and safety shoe manufacturers and importers said the decade had marked a return to steady work and safety shoe sales.

Many works and safety shoe makers reported yearly sales increases during that period, attributing the growth to a stable economy and having the right merchandise. And company officials are gearing up for what they hope will be another decade of growth.

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A Good, Steady, Upward Climb

“It seems to be a good, steady, upward climb,” said William Ison, Vice President of sales, Musebeck Shoe Co., Oconomowoc, Wis. While Ison admitted that the market is not exploding, he characterized the growth as real.
Musebeck, whose work and safety footwear constitutes one-third of its men’s business, has increased by about 12 percent over year-ago figures. Ison anticipates that the work and safety sales will climb still higher when the company’s fiscal year ends this month.

“The market has increased because of the growth of the economy,” he observed. “More people are working now.”
Makers reported there is a stronger demand for particular types of work and safety products than there is for others. The demand for insulated work and safety footwear is not active, for instance, said Richard Sherwin, vice president, Dunham Shoes, Brattleboro, Vt. The strongest category, he said, is basic work and sports shoes. Dunham, which is running 8-9 percent ahead in sales, credited its new product category (work shoes) for the increase.

“If you want the long-term growth, you have to build the right products,” said James Levine, President, Import Systems International Inc., (ISI) the exclusive licensee for Dickies Brand footwear, here. In the cycle of changes in the work-and-safety market, many trends emerge and, at ISI, “The growth trend that Dickies has is a mixture of work and casuals.”

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Levine noted the company’s business in the work and safety category grew by 75 percent in the last year.

For Lake of the Woods, Prentice, Wis., sales increases have been steady. The company’s growth in the work and safety market is 20 percent over last year, said Jerry Hess, vice president, and general manager.

Specialized Business

“The market is becoming a more specialized business,” said Hess, referring to the growing number of shoes being offered for specific job functions.

Georgia/Durango Boot Co., Franklin, Tenn., reported the company’s safety shoe business had increased 10 percent over last year since it added steel toe athletic shoes. However, Leonard Paul, general manager of the firm, declined to provide figures for the work-shoe category.

As for C. Itoh Shoe Co. Inc., here, work and safety business has doubled in the past two years because the firm has begun sourcing in Czechoslovakia,” said Gary Miller, vice president of the company. Sourcing has a great deal to do with the increase in business, he added.

Business has been “exceptional,” for Warson Group Inc., St. Louis, since it entered the work and safety market in December ’88. Douglas Sproull, vice president of merchandising, said the company anticipates a growth of 20 percent in 1990. “The market has been relatively stable,” he advised. “A lot of people who have gained market share have increased at the expense of others.”

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Timberland – Leader In Work Boots Design

True to its reputation as an innovator in occupational footwear, Timberland PRO introduced several new lines in Spring and Fall and will continue to extend its offerings in the coming seasons.

The following details two of Timberland PRO’s most successful products, the TiTAN series, and the PowerWelt work boot, as well as the Endurance series, introduced this year.

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ABOUT THE COMPANY

Timberland PRO TiTAN

Timberland PRO’s cornerstone series, the TiTAN work boot provides protection. Made with the Titan family of work boots also meets ASTM standards. Styles include TiTAN Terrain, TiTAN Heavy Duty, TiTAN Hiker and TiTAN Oxford, among others.

Timberland PRO PowerWelt

Timberland PRO PowerWelt is a revolutionary work boot featuring abrasion-resistant Ever-Guard[TM] leather. This genuine full-grain leather has been impregnated with polyurethane, enhancing the leather while retaining its essential characteristics of breathability and flexibility. Ever-Guard[TM] leather is ten times more abrasion resistant than standard leather, is heat resistant up to 346 degrees F., and is waterproof.

Through extensive market research, Timberland PRO identified a consumer need and responded with this product that protects against intense workplace conditions involving extreme abrasion, heat, oil, and water.

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Timberland PRO Endurance

Timberland PRO Endurance work boots redefine comfort using an innovative anti-fatigue technology that provides a solution for those who spend prolonged periods on foot during the workday.

Endurance incorporates the comfort elements of the successful Timberland PRO[R] PowerFit[TM] system, including toe shape, footbed design, and moisture-managing materials, while adding a unique conical midsole construction for structured, cushioned support.

Two Spring Endurance styles–Endurance and Endurance Sport–feature conical EVA mid-soles. Endurance styles include:

  • Endurance Puncture-Resistant (PR) featuring the Timberland PRO[R] Anti-fatigue conical midsole technology, but uses polyurethane as the medium, which in testing demonstrated even greater shock attenuation. With a steel puncture plate for protection, Timberland PRO rubber cup sole for durability and traction, and Timberland PRO[R] rubber in the toe for abrasion resistance, Endurance PR is a truly unique product in the market.
  • Endurance Waterproof incorporates anti-fatigue technology in a rugged, yet lightweight construction with exceptional cushioning, designed especially for wet environments. The boot features a premium waterproof leather and an aggressive tread design for slip, oil, and abrasion-resistance.

Building on the timberland heritage of craftsmanship and quality, Timberland prO is a design leader for working professionals who require the best comfort and protection on the job. Timberland PRO embraces the company’s commitment.

For years now, Timberland PRO has been working hard to make good on its promise of “doing well and doing good” through relationships with organizations such as SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, instructors, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

This year, Timberland PRO has also partnered with Share our Strength to help put an end to childhood hunger in America and foster important relationships with influencers who can help motivate the nation to join in the fight.
Timberland PRO puts the same commitment and carers into each of its products as it does community service partnerships. Programs such as the Invention Factory help Timberland PRO to get first-hand accounts of footwear needs from consumers and begin to improve upon areas where the occupational footwear industry is underserved.

To learn more about Timberland PRO, please visit www.timberlandpro.com.

To find out more about Timberland, see www.timberland.com.

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Nursing Shortage At Hospitals

Even through a long day busy work in the hospital with the best shoes for nurses (means the best support), nurses still feel tired because of the nursing shortage. But recently, the need for nurses working at hospitals declined statewide and in almost all metropolitan areas. Local experts gave several reasons for the trend. Better pay has helped attract more students to nursing school. More graduates are seeking fewer available jobs. And more medical care is being delivered in outpatient settings, so hospitals need fewer nurses.

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