First of two parts
The new year has the potential to be wildly successful for distributors that sell disposable gloves. In 2023, the $15 billion-plus market will continue to evolve as we put the worst of the pandemic behind us.
What makes us say this?
- Glove manufacturers are flush with product;
- Prices are stabilizing after the pandemic roller coaster;
- Demand is still strong and not going away.
Glove supply—from 2020-22 highly volatile, with frequent shortages, especially for industrial nitrile—is back to ample in all categories. Prices are stabilizing, which sets up distributors to develop strong partnerships and emphasize high-quality brands to meet the need for hand protection.
With more gloves available and a market that continues to be robust, price competition will intensify. Distributors will have to offer a high level of customer service to capture new business.
It’s time to seize the moment
The economy at large has in 2022 suffered from inflation that many pundits insist will turn into a full-blown recession. Regardless of economic challenges, however, disposable gloves have historically proven to be one commodity that maintains strong demand, even in times of economic uncertainty.
Based on the history of previous recessions, the disposable glove market is not likely to be affected in the same way as the rest of the economy. Gloves are a need-based product. Health, hygiene, and safety do not usually take a back seat to cost-based decisions, especially when glove prices are the most accessible they have been in more than three years.
While other factors may drive many financial choices—and we can expect contraction of the overall economy as businesses cut corners to maintain profit—workers in a broad cross-section of industries will still require hand protection.
Put the market to work for you
We expect several refinements in the market to prove advantageous for disposable glove distributors. More inventory and stabilized pricing will reward operators who are willing to commit resources to marketing products while prioritizing high-quality brands, high service levels, redundancy, and reliability over short-term profits.
Many glove sellers offer neither quality assurance nor market support, but may save you a dollar on a box of gloves. The choice, as always, is yours: Align your organization with the right distribution partner who can help you grow your business, or save a couple hundred bucks and take a chance on inferior product.
In addition to finding the right partner, targeting the right accounts is essential. Know your customers’ needs and try to anticipate areas for potential growth. Effective use of glove samples will work wonders for winning over customers—nothing beats try before you buy.
Complex factors affect glove pricing
Glove prices are stabilizing to the point where, accounting for inflation and some underlying operational costs, they are approaching 2019 levels. This pricing is a positive development for distributors that build recurring customer relationships—and the start of the new year is a great time to begin building.
Glove pricing discrepancies can be confusing. Many distributors obtained their inventory at different times, with some paying more for their products than others, which can account for varied pricing.
Additional increases in costs are possible, such as China tariffs, continuing labor shortages, and issues with organized labor. Natural gas prices have risen by as much as 25% compared with last year, adding to manufacturing costs.
Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but after 35 years in the marketplace, AMMEX’s track record of helping distributors achieve sustained growth is unparalleled. Is 2023 the year when you transform your distribution business and grow your glove sales? Contact your sales rep today or visit ammex.com.
Next week: More on potentially volatile economic conditions in 2023.