29 July 2005
Christmas Decorations(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 08,2005)
For example, 1992-established Pumy Industrial Ltd manufactures indoor and outdoor lights that attract a lot of attention amid a wide range of Christmas products. "Our metal, cube-shaped lanterns and imitation silver-coloured vines are two of our newer light string products," says director Ken Ip.
"We also have tree lights in single colours or mixed arrays, and a brilliant white variety that caters for year-round demand for patio lights. There are also traditional Christmas figures adorned with lights and ornamental symbols."
Tree lights wound into balls may feature 12 different coloured LEDs, while Star Lights come with long life micro-bulbs. Coloured paper lanterns and wreaths use candle lights, while polyresin figures use LEDs, optical fibre lights and 5W wedge bulbs.
Many products comply with international safety standards and approvals, including UL (the US), TUV, VDE, GS, SAA (Australia) and BS (the UK).
Raw materials used include PP and polystyrene sourced on the Chinese mainland, as are the paper for the lanterns and the metal for frames.
"Business is okay, but because the global economy is still weak, worldwide demand is not that great," says Ip. "Recently, our material costs suddenly increased and that made buyers hesitant to place orders. Furthermore, competition is very strong, so we focus on the medium and medium-to-high end of the market."
Minimum order size is 2,000 sets of lights and delivery time is 45-60 days after order confirmation. Major export markets include the US, the UK, Europe and Australia. Production takes place at a 1,000-worker, 200,000-square-foot factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland, where ISO 9000-certified Pumy is classified as a Grade A company.
Sheric Trading Co Ltd has been in the Christmas decorations business since 1978 and offers a range of floral Christmas goods. "We have single-stemmed flowers, Christmas trees, potted flowers, hanging ornamental flowers and candle rings among our Christmas range," says marketing executive Joanne Ho.
"Most of the materials we use are artificial renditions of various leaves and other artefacts from nature, but the pine cones are natural. The feathers are natural too, but dyed, while some twigs are natural. For the snow effect we use white flock."
Typical products include wreaths with pine cones, cedar leaves and nuts, and candle rings with snowberries, pine cones, thistles, flocked leaves and twigs.
A gem-and-bead candle ring has powdered leaves, while a hand-wrapped candle ring comes with pine cones and berries. Another variation features snowy cypress branches with pine cones, and a swag that uses velvet poinsettias, hawthorn berries and ferns.
Major export markets are the UK, France, Australia, Scandinavia and Japan. Minimum order value is US$5,000 per shipment, and delivery takes 2-3 months from order confirmation. If necessary, Sheric sub-contracts to 150 associated manufacturers in addition to its own factories in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland.
Also benefiting from a long history is Wuston Mfg Co, established in 1962. "We have specialised in Christmas items for a long time. It used to be a very traditional field, where most customers needed us to put a lot into the goods but not now," says vice-president Kent Wo.
"Most of our customers are in the US, and buying habits there are noticeably changing. Today, consumers shop at big chains such as Target and Wal-Mart and look for bigger items priced below US$1."
Wo says that as more factories set up on the mainland, so the nature of the business will continue to change. "Right now, the challenges are bigger: for example, buyers from the US want larger quantities of goods...but the prices...!"
Wuston's range includes Christmas trees, stockings, stuffed dolls and toys, including Santa Claus, garlands, ball ornaments and ball-shaped hanging decorations, wall decorations, Christmas calendars, berry trees and berry wreaths.
Minimum order value is US$4,000 per shipment and delivery time is 60-90 days after order confirmation. Main markets are the US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France and South America.
Meanwhile, Chit Li Plastic & Metal Co Ltd manufactures Christmas decorations and exports them mainly to the US, Europe and Japan. "We make items that can be used as window displays, such as snowmen sweeping snow, bears warmly wrapped-up against the winter chill, Christmas trees and Santa Claus," says account clerk Cara Yu.
"We have a three-and-a-half inch, three-dimensional snowflake with glitter and a gift set containing three Santas that can come either standalone or in a gift box. We have gift boxes, stockings and bags as standalone items, and also an angel with a harp."
Minimum orders are five cartons and delivery time is 60-90 days after order confirmation. The firm's 50-worker factory is in Taiping in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland.
Hong Kong is clearly on the right track to add seasonal joy to businessman and buyer alike.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Chit Li Plastic & Metal Co Ltd
East Asia Christmas Decoration Co Ltd
Run Leader Int?耱 Co Ltd