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April 1998

- Screens

- Shelves & Racks

- Kettles

- Food Processors & Blenders


FOR centuries panel screens have been a decorative and practical piece of furniture that served as a means of cordoning off, protecting or dividing space. The concertina shape means that they can be compacted to fit into small and large areas, to complement a room or hallway with an air of traditional elegance.

Manufacturers are crafting screens in old styles to resemble antiques, as well as modern designs to suit more contemporary tastes. The price range varies as widely as the styles, according to the level of craftsmanship and materials used.

Screens are usually associated with the Orient and old Chinese styles have long been popular, a style adopted by Henderson & Co Ltd, Hwang Ho Oil Painting & Art Furniture Co and Hoison Woodware Co.

Henderson has been producing fine rosewood, teak and lacquer-crafted items according to traditional Chinese styles since 1950. Lacquer model 342 shows a scene of a woman against a background of trees, flowers and birds detailed in inlaid mother-of-pearl and fine painting. The scene is spread over four panels with a delicate mother-of-pearl border around the whole picture. The set of four panels sells for HK$1,900 FOB Hong Kong. Delivery lead time is about one month.

Director Chien Yu Ting says: "We make all kinds of rosewood furniture as well as screens. Most of our buyers want custom-made rosewood furniture rather than choose from our stock ... people need screens to fit the size and design of their homes."

Specialising in Oriental, including Japanese, designs, Hwang Ho also produces lacquer and hand-painted antique furniture, targeting markets in the US, Japan, Europe and the Middle East. A typical screen (model HA-2072) is in black lacquer with a solid gold leaf background, featuring a hand-painted pheasant with grass and flowers. This screen is priced at US$128 per four-panel set.

Managing director Richard Yam says: "We have about 10 designers based at our factory in [mainland] China. To keep up with competition, we always try to offer high quality, low price and good after-sales service."

Hwang Ho has a delivery lead time of 45 days and sets a minimum order of one TEU. Its 100,000-square-foot factory on the mainland employs 300 workers.

Hoison Woodware manufactures furniture in intricately carved rosewood, sourced from the mainland. An elegant four-panel screen is decorated with fruit, leaf and flower objects that merge to create a mesh-like effect.

"We have an in-house designer based at our [mainland] China factory," says manager Estella Luk, but she emphasises the difficulty of finding the craftsmen. "Of course, because all our products are hand-crafted, especially our panel screens, it isn't easy finding workmen with the skills."

Hoison employs 1,000 workers at its 30,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland. The company can deliver within 45 days of the date of confirmation. Minimum order value is US$1,000.

For those looking for other types of screen, Qiantang River Arts & Furniture Ltd offers models with Western designs. Manager Simon Chan says: "Most of our designs are very popular in the US and Europe, where we have our major markets."

A Grecian scene is depicted on a four-panel wooden screen with a black background. Female figures and cherubs are painted among fruit, flowers and pillars strewn with vines. To add authenticity, the paint is cracked slightly to give the veneer of antiquity. This model (OP-8843-WFZ-M2) sells for US$515.30 per set FOB Hong Kong.

For a more neutral look, Qiantang makes a plain, off-white four-panel screen with a textured, mottled effect. Model OP-8735-WKF-M is priced at US$381.40 per set.

Chan says: "We have our own in-house design teams both in Hong Kong and [mainland] China. We have an R&D department in [mainland] China and while we design and make samples for our customers, all our designs are ultimately approved by the chief of R&D."

The 100,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland, employs about 800 workers. The delivery lead time is 60-75 days from the date of order confirmation.

Qiantang markets its products through trade magazines and also has its own Internet home page.

A union of Oriental and Western designs is captured in Chinese Dynasty Furniture Co's screens. Lotus flowers and mandarin ducks are the main features for one model. They are engraved on a cream background with pastel colours, along with an attractive flower border.

"We have more than 30 years of experience in making screens," says manager Albert KH Chan. "We select some of our designs from magazines and books, adapting and improving them ... We find scenery with animals are popular, especially for the Japanese market."

Chinese Dynasty has a delivery lead time of 60-75 days from the date of confirmation. It employs about 200 workers at its 60,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland, and imports much of its rosewood and teak from Thailand.

Written by Meiling Voon

Shelves & Racks

STORAGE space is a constant problem in most households, and Hong Kong manufacturers have come up with some practical and stylish methods for housing everything from a toothbrush to a library.

Woody Conrad Mfr Ltd is a company that has more shelving ideas than the average house would need in a lifetime. "If we don't have the shelf you want in stock, then we can design one," says marketing manager Alfred Chan.

Wood, metal, marble, ceramic and glass are just some of the materials Woody Conrad uses for its shelving and furniture products. "One of our main advantages is that a customer can order a variety of shelving as part of one order. Our minimum order size relates to a container load rather than per piece."

Exports are the mainstay of Woody Conrad's 1,300-worker factory in Shenzhen, mainland China. A three-tier shelf with rollers costs US$3 FOB Hong Kong, while a three-tier metal shelf sells for US$12.80. Delivery usually takes 45 days after confirmation of order, but this can be reduced to 30 days if necessary, Chan says.

Stainless steel tube shelving is a relatively new venture for Forthway Industrial Ltd, whose main business is OEM products and electronic toys, which it has been producing for more than 30 years. "We started producing high-strength polycarbonate and stainless steel framed shelving units two years ago, and we now have strong markets in Japan and Germany, with growing sales in Southeast Asia and [mainland] China," says deputy general manager Martin Chan.

He explains that this shelving can be used effectively in any environment where corrosion may be a problem. "Bathrooms and kitchens are obvious areas that benefit from using our product."

According to Chan, the upright and wall-mounted units, which come in boxed sets, are easy to install and dismantle. They come under the brand name Forthway. Prices start at HK$48.80 FOB Hong Kong for a 6x20.5-inch wall shelf, to HK$146 for a three-level upright shelf. The minimum order is 30 dozen for stock items and 1,000 pieces for non-stock items. Delivery takes 2-3 months.

"Aluminium shelving is also suitable for both indoor and outdoor use," says Helen Leung, sales manager for Ming Fung Industrial Co. "It is both waterproof and rustproof, so it is perfect for storing outdoor items such as garden accessories."

Ming Fung's four-level storage system comes with shelves, handles, screws and wheels, and is priced at HK$150 FOB Hong Kong. The firm accepts a minimum order of 200 pieces, for delivery 40 days after confirmation of order.

Shelving of a more stylish nature comes from Choi Ying Kee Co Ltd. "Raffia combined with metal has becomes a popular fashion trend in recent years," explains managing director Stanley Fu. This family-owned company operates a 600-worker factory in Dongguan, on the mainland, and makes a variety of household products, including sofas, beds, chairs and tables.

"We have a strong commitment to providing quality products, as well as being punctual with shipment of orders," Fu says. He believes that these aspects are important to his customers who come from the US, UK, Germany and Spain. "Although we have our own in-house designer, we are very happy to help our customers with their own designs."

The minimum order is one 40-foot container, and delivery is 60 days after confirmation of order.

"We view our products more as handicrafts," explains Carmen Chan, sales manager for Great Mountain Enterprises (HK) Ltd. A relative newcomer in this business, the firm employs 100 workers at its factory in Fujian, on the mainland, and produces a wide range of products for markets in Europe, Japan and South America.

"Business has expanded to the extent that we will be opening a new factory in October this year. Our designers, foundry technicians and workers can create all kinds of handicrafts made from iron, wire, rattan, wicker, ceramics and polyresin," Chan says.

Great Mountain's well-organised production lines can handle anything from candle holders to wine-display units, according to Chan. An iron/rattan corner shelf is priced at US$17.90 FOB Hong Kong, and a set of three bookshelves (small, medium and large) sells for US$73.20. Delivery is 45 days after confirmation of order.

Rattan baskets represent the main product range of Lines Industries Ltd. "Our factory in Fujian has experienced workers capable of producing any design in willow, bamboo or rattan," explains manager Hannah Kwok. "Most of our work is to customers' own designs."

Although there is no minimum order, most of Lines's business is based on one TEU. "If small quantities are required, then the price is a little higher," says Kwok. Delivery is 45-75 days after receipt of an L/C.

Written by Suzanne Rayment


HONG Kong has long held an enviable reputation for the manufacture of high-quality, competitively priced household appliances, and the range of kettles produced in Hong Kong is no exception. Manufacturers have been quick to adopt new designs so that kettles now come in a broad spectrum of shapes and sizes, colours, materials and innovative features.

A relatively recent development has been the introduction of cordless electric jug kettles, such as those produced by Fatia Industrial Co Ltd. "All of our electric kettles are cordless," says assistant marketing manager Avis Chan. "These are very popular with customers as they are convenient to use."

Fatia makes 40,000-50,000 pieces per month of each style in its range of electric kettles. "We are an OEM manufacturer and our major customers are Tchibo, First Austria and Holden," says Chan, adding that Fatia's major export markets are in Europe, the US, Japan and South Africa.

"We use kettle control parts which are supplied by the UK company, Strix, and the polypropylene housing is from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan," she says. A 2,000-piece minimum order can be delivered 30-60 days after receipt of order confirmation.

The range of one- and 1.7-litre jug kettles manufactured by Goodway Electrical Co Ltd is available in cordless, corded or fix-corded versions. "We make copper and coloured plastic cordless jug kettles, and we have a stainless steel model which is still in development," says marketing manager Andrew Chong.

"Our kettles are sold worldwide and, as we are also an OEM manufacturer, clients use their own brand names. But for the [mainland] China, Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam markets, the kettles are sold under our own Goodway brand, which is registered in Hong Kong and [mainland] China," he says.

Strict QC procedures are followed at the company's 200,000-square-foot factory in mainland China, which employs 2,000 workers. "Our products have [been granted] many kinds of approval, such as GS, CE and UL. We have applied for ISO 9000 and Q-Mark certification, and these are now being processed," says Chong. Goodway accepts a 3,000-piece minimum order, for delivery within 45 days of receipt of an L/C.

The two-litre cordless jug kettle model B-729 from Better Electrical Products Fty Ltd features an indicator light, water-level indicator, power-connected socket base and rubber feet to prevent slipping.

"We import polypropylene for the jug from Australia, and thermo controllers and heating elements from two companies in the UK, Strix and Otter," says sales and marketing manager Ken Lee, noting that attention to QC has earned his company European-standards approval. "All our electrical items have TUV, GS and CE approval. Our ISO 9000 application is being processed, and should be completed towards the end of this year."

Sold under the ETA, VES, Fugison, and MEC brand names, the kettles are exported to Russia, the UK, Malaysia, Australia, Austria, Sweden and Germany. A minimum order of 2,700 pieces (one TEU), can be delivered within 45 days of order confirmation.

HTS Enterprises Ltd produces both plastic and stainless steel electric kettles at its 75,000-square-foot factory on the mainland. "We import the plastic from Japan and South Korea, the stainless steel from Japan and Germany, and the main components from Japan, Germany and the UK," says director Sam Lau.

"Model 688 has a stainless steel vessel with an easy-to-use 360-degree cordless base; model 609 has a 1.7-litre plastic housing with a cordless base and permanent filter; and model 603 has a one-litre plastic housing with stainless steel heating element."

Carrying the brand name Hanns, the kettles are GS- and CE-approved. A 2,000-piece minimum order (3,000 pieces for OEM brand names), can be delivered to major markets in Europe and North and South America within 30-45 days of receipt of an L/C.

HTS also produces a range of other small electric household items. All of HTS's products carry the GS and CE safety approval mark, according to Lau.

The 1.7-litre cordless plastic electric jug kettles manufactured by Euro Suisse Int'l Ltd are available in white, yellow, red, blue and green. "We subcontract production and we export about 15,000 kettles per month ourselves, depending on the time of year," says managing director Anish Lalvani.

Sold under the Binatone brand name, the kettles incorporate Strix controls and have GS and CE approvals, says Lalvani. "We import the plastics from various sources such as the Netherlands, Japan and Taiwan, Strix controls from the UK, and use mostly Chinese heating elements," he says.

Euro Suisse stipulates a minimum order of one TEU, which can be delivered to major markets such as Germany, the UK and western and eastern Europe within 30 days of receipt of an order confirmation.

The 0.78-litre miniature plastic-bodied electrical jug kettle (model SK-201) from Shun King Tak Co Ltd has found a niche in the travel market, says director Alex Cheung. "The mini kettle was designed primarily for use by travellers," he says, pointing to the model's light weight, compact size and built-in tea/coffee filter.

The mini kettle has CE safety approval for EU countries. A 3,000-piece minimum order can be delivered within 30 days to the company's markets in the Middle East, Italy, the US, Greece, Japan and Turkey.

Written by John Fox

Food Processors & Blenders

GIVEN the small size of most Hong Kong kitchens, it should come as no surprise that the Special Administrative Region's food processor designers are concentrating on compactness, versatility of function and safety.

C Art Ltd produces a processor that minces, mixes, grinds, chops, slices and shreds. Slicing and shredding can be performed by the same shooting disc, while chopping requires a separate blade. Both disc and blade are made from stainless steel.

For safety, the processor features a tube feed with pusher, and cover with safety locks. The motor operates at 80W, 230V and 50Hz. For a minimum order of 1,000 pieces, the model sells for US$8 FOB Hong Kong. Marketing manager Eva Chan says that the unit "is compact. It's a small machine yet has many functions".

C Art produces 50,000 processors a month at its factory in Guangdong, mainland China, where it also manufactures other household goods and footwear. The Mighty-brand food processor models take 45 days to deliver after order confirmation, and most exports go to the US, Germany and France.

Anex Electrical Co Ltd makes an electric blender and grinder that is versatile and safe. The unit has two bowls — one for stirring, mixing, chopping and grating, and one for grinding. The motor can be set at a number of speeds, including turbo, or can be pulsed. The 1.3-litre-capacity bowl is graduated in litres, ounces and cups. The cord is stored underneath the motor housing at the base of the upright unit. This blender/grinder sells for US$17.85 FOB Hong Kong.

"Apart from being good-looking and with a good finish, the blender has a lot of safety features and approvals: CSA from Canada, UC from the US and TUV for Europe," says senior sales manager Benjamin Wong.

Anex sells the majority of its blenders in Europe, particularly in Germany, Italy and Spain, and uses the brand names Home, Antec and Auto. The firm has been making household appliances, beauty and health-care products, auto accessories, security alarms and fluorescent products since 1975. The minimum order for blenders is 1,000 pieces, which takes 45 days to deliver after confirmation.

Also concentrating on versatility and safety, Focus Industries produces a multifunction food processor. The model has three different grades of chopping blades, and medium or fine slicing and shredding blades. The machine incorporates a feed tube/cover and a food pusher, and has an ejector disc and spatula for the safe removal of the bowl's contents. The motor can be pulsed or set to operate continuously. The processor is priced at US$13.80 FOB Guangzhou.

Merchandiser Arun Mahtani believes that the unit will appeal to consumers as it is "compact, easy to clean, and priced competitively".

Household appliances are the forte of Focus, which has been in business for seven years. The firm can brand goods according to customers' requirements. Its major markets are eastern Europe, Dubai and South America. A minimum order of one TEU, or 1,600 pieces, can reach these destinations 25 days after confirmation.

KC Wong, director of Hang Fai Household Products Ltd, stresses that size and price are the selling points of its mini food processor. "It's compact compared with other manufacturers' products and the selling price is cheap," Wong says.

The mini processor sells for HK$40 FOB Hong Kong. It features a single blade, suspended from the lid of the 500-cubic-centimetre bowl, that can purée, mince and whip. The lid also houses the motor. A separate disc acts as a seal between the lid and bowl, and is recommended for extra safety.

Hang Fai does not require a minimum order. Monthly production runs at 30,000 units. The company has no brand name, but can brand to customers' requirements. Wong believes that Hang Fai's reliable quality and service have helped it gain customers in its major markets of Greece, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Wily Products Co Ltd makes three manually operated food processors which are ideal for salad preparation. The units have two blades — one for chopping salad ingredients, the other a rotary beater for mixing dressings. Two of the units also incorporate a hydrator for drying ingredients in the clear, plastic bowl.

The advantage of the manually controlled rotary action lies in mixing ingredients that require a very precise amount of mixing — the turner can stop the action immediately. The handle is in the lid, which also incorporates a pouring hole of 25-cubic-centimetre capacity.

Safety has not been ignored. one model has full safety locks on the lid and a silicon mat on the base to keep the device stable on all surfaces. This model sells for US$4.05 FOB Hong Kong. The one with just a hydrator is US$3.20, and the simplest unit is priced at US$2.95.

Spokesperson April Chan says: "The appeal is that it is compact and convenient to use."

Wily Products markets its PPSON-brand blenders in Japan, South Korea and the UAE. The minimum order of 1,488 pieces takes 45 days to deliver after confirmation. This 10-year-old company also makes telephones, radios and cassette recorders.

Written by Mischa Moselle

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