Saturday, December 17, 2011

Police Tactical Clothing Sales Picks Up Military Slack

IBIS World which is a leading market research firm has reported that a drop in the sales to the U.S. military in the Tactical Clothing will be offset by an increase in purchases from local law enforcement, fire, and EMS/EMT over the next 5 years. While a substantial drop from Defense can be rather obvious given the draw down in Iraq combined with congressional budget battles, it is interesting to see that Domestic purchasing power is still strong and growing for the industry. 

No one has a crystal ball that shows how the next 5 years may play out for Defense spending in general or how the complex nature of international relations could effect the U.S. military's necessity to purchase new tactical apparel. The focus here is on uniforms, which continually change as the different services continually upgrade their designs to provide the best for our troops in terms of comfort, durability, and function. 

Clearly the U.S. Army being the largest service by far is continually updating the Army Combat Uniform and tangentially the Army Combat Shirt and Pant to fit the needs of its soldiers. Of course market researches may find this necessity of improvement to be dwindling in lock step with the present combat zones. Or perhaps they see less of a need for wide scale issuance of new innovative combat clothing, which could be the true culprit in dropping sales to defense.

This brings us to what IBIS World refers to as the domestic protective service in which they allocate  police officers, fire fighters and EMT's. The big question is why the increase in demand? This is not covered in their press release on the report that they would like industry insiders to purchase, but clearly one factor is keeping up with the Jones's, which can go both ways. One may like to quickly jump to the collusion that our police forces are simply becoming more militaristic and in doing so adopting everything that the military already has including their armor protection systems and clothing. This report simply covers the latter, which in the scheme of things camouflage apparel may appear overkill for some, but it certainly has its distinct function for tactical teams, border security, and other specialized law enforcement where concealment plays a function on their operations. 

Is trying to keep up with the military in obtaining the latest tactical clothing a bad thing? Well, when it comes to obtaining the most advanced designs in apparel, police departments are providing their men and women with a superior product to conduct their daily public service. This doesn't mean looking cool in the latest gucci camouflage, as lot of the tactical clothing utilized sticks with solid colors and most of the time offers different designs to meet the needs of an officer's daily procedures, which can be drastically different from that of a service member in combat. Reinforced knees and elbows are a universal benefit for all. 

The end result of this back and forth in market demand can actually be a good thing for both the military and law enforcement as well as the other domestic services mentioned. Many of the latest innovations in military clothing can certainly be seen as improvements taken from clothing utilized by law enforcement including slanted and more ergonomically placed pockets. Of course these innovations can be traced to clothing used in outdoor clothing which is an entirely different industry that feeds both the military and public safety with new concepts in design and vice-versa 

Likewise, the big military budget spawns great research in flame resistance, durable and comfortable fabrics, as well as the best camouflage the world has ever seen. At least we think that is the Army's intention. Either way, their castaways can be seen as an opportunity for SWAT and other specialized police units to pick up distinguished concealment. Research and development goes full circle in the tactical clothing world and for the time being things look up for the industry at large, which is the overriding message from this report. 

For additional information on the IBIS World Report Visit:

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