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Pandemic inspires new consumers for safety equipment

International Safety sells to more than first responders

Operating a business in an unexpected pandemic was a challenge no matter what industry you were serving.

Many businesses struggled to meet consumer demands, while others pivoted toward eCommerce solutions to try and serve their customers. Now, with the world slowly returning to post-COVID normalcy, it’s clear the pandemic has attracted a new group of customers looking to buy personal protection equipment (PPE).

Take International Safety for example. Prior to the pandemic, the primary customers of the Newmarket-based online safety equipment retailer included a variety of municipalities, hospitals, police services and construction companies looking for PPE and related technologies.

Post pandemic, International Safety has noticed a burgeoning new customer-base making purchases through their eComm platform.

“We have noticed a lot more people buying things like disposable coveralls, isolation gowns, and half-mask respirators,” said Austin Ertl, an inside sales representative with International Safety. “And they’ll even comment that they just want to get ready in case something else happens. In the beginning it was just people trying to get N-95 masks who found they weren’t able to. Now they’re thinking that it’s a good idea to be stocking up.”

For more than two decades, International Safety catered to their customer base with a bricks and mortar retail outlet. Ten years ago the company ventured into the eComm world with a custom-built-software website designed to facilitate online purchasing.

When the pandemic all but forced them to close their doors to the public, Ertl said the company made the decision to go full force with their eComm efforts. The results have proven to be highly successful, with a broadening consumer base shopping online for a variety of safety gear.

“The thing that really surprised us is a lot of people are still buying a half-mask respirator,” said Ertl. “Our most popular product is still the N-95 mask. A lot of people didn’t even know they existed before, because no one really saw this coming. But they’re choosing half-masks and filters now because they’re better products than the cheaper masks you see people wearing on the streets.”

Many people isolating at home during the pandemic decided to undertake home renovations, which meant a lot of DIY amateurs trying their hand at construction projects.

As part of their online inventory of over 50,000 items, International Safety retails a full line of:

  • construction boots,
  • safety gloves,
  • protective eyewear,
  • and other critical safety equipment designed to protect users.

As an innovative online eCommerce company, International Safety continues to offer online support Monday through Friday with free shipping for residents of Newmarket. While they do focus on safety equipment, they also offer more than 20 different services including PosiChek3 Calibration, equipment rental, gas detection calibration, respiratory fit testing, fall protection certification, SCBA Maintenance and more.

Look for International Safety online here.