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Clean Lines(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 01,2008)

Bathroom Accessories

Photo
Better Success Industrial Ltd gives a design twist to its modern stainless steel bathroom accessories by adding little blue feet

Stainless steel continues to surge in popularity, melding sophistication with durability to create a minimalist bathroom accessories look, while plastic and ceramic offer highly affordable alternatives in fashionable and fanciful styles

Manufacturers of stainless steel products are expanding into bathroom accessories, with the popular metal adding shine to sales. For example, some 20% of Better Success Industrial Ltd's stainless steel exports are now bathroom accessories.

"We started in this category about a year ago, and now offer 5-6 styles of bathroom sets as well as individual items," explains Sales Manager Eric Kwong. "These include items in brushed or polished stainless steel, with colour coatings and with ABS bodies or accents."

Mr Kwong notes that 95% of this business comprises open items, although the company also accepts OEM orders. "Most buyers request our four- or five-piece sets comprising toothbrush holder, cup, soap dish, dispenser and toilet brush and holder, and we are hoping to further expand our product range and markets," he notes.

He adds that customers are attracted by the quality look and easy cleaning of stainless steel. "We offer a number of different styles including our popular stainless steel set model QRS505 that comes complete with coloured, ABS feet."

The company's average price for a four-piece stainless steel set is US$15 FOB Hong Kong, or US$18 with toilet brush and holder. Europe is the company's biggest market, with the US an important destination for the toilet brush holders.

Kin Kei Hardware Industries Ltd also incorporates stainless steel into its huge range of steel, brass, zinc alloy, chrome, ceramic, plastic and glass bathroom accessories and fittings.

"We offer thousands of items and stainless steel continues to take the place of brass as it is rust-resistant and offers a clean look," notes General Manager Ken Leung. "Among our most popular products are six-piece matching sets combining paper holder, paper ring, double hooks, glass holder, soap holder and towel ring in brushed or polished stainless steel."

Catering to OEM customers seeking mid-market products, Kin Kei's main markets are Europe, the US and South America, although the company is actively seeking new markets.

"We are very interested in the Eastern European zone, and are targeting these markets through exhibitions, export agents and advertising," notes Mr Leung.

Meanwhile, bathroom accessories specialist Wai Lun Offset Printing Ltd offers about 10 types of products, of which 60% comes in sets, 20% is shower curtains, and 20% is in the form of bathroom mats and hooks.

"Our most popular products are bathroom sets in polyresin and plastic, and ceramic," notes Sales Manager Tony Tse. "Four- or five-piece bathroom sets are more popular than individual items, and customers favour round designs." On average, a four-piece plastic set costs US$2.20 FOB Hong Kong, while a ceramic set is priced at US$2.60.

The company relies on trade fairs, the Internet and advertising to market its products to major destinations such as South and Central America and the US, with other markets include France, Italy, Spain and Australia.

"However, wherever we export, good design leads the trend," Mr Tse says. "And for ceramic accessories, simple designs prove the most attractive."

Appealing to a different market segment is Botat Int'l Ltd, which targets the continuing trend for fun bathroom accessories that can double as ideal gifts and premiums.

"We produce about 10 items of bathroom accessories in a wide range of appealing animal and figure styles," explains Marketing Manager Yamma Hui. "Some 40% of our open items are bathroom accessories and our most popular range is Dommy Duck, which we launched in 2004."

This playful, yellow plastic duck features in items including a towel hook, towel ring, toothbrush clip, toothbrush bar stand, liquid soap container and sponge, liquid soap bottle, soap holder, duck in soap, cup stand, nail brush, mirror, bath plug, doorstop, and mother-and-baby squeaky bath toys.

"We have also expanded this range into desktop accessories," notes Ms Hui. "In addition, our Pose range, launched two years ago, is in high demand." This series of cute plastic figures in different poses is available in a variety of bathroom items and colours.

Other fanciful ranges include Jimmy Frog, Goo Goo Piggy, Moo Moo Cow, My Dog, Berry Bear and My Body. "We will also be adding other animal designs in 2008," adds Ms Hui.

Noting the dual appeal of the company's products, she adds, "Bathroom sets are popular with retailers, and single items - particularly the large soap dispenser that can take a big logo - appeal to the premiums market." The company's customers include companies such as Mannings in Hong Kong, Rejoice and several toothpaste brands.

"Our average unit price range is US$0.25-1.20 FOB Hong Kong for orders of between 3,000-5,000 pieces," notes Ms Hui. "Europe is our biggest market for bathroom accessories and the US, along with Japan and Australia."

Wherever the market, Hong Kong manufacturers are adding affordable style, function and fun to a small household room that is now quickly becoming synonymous with relaxation.

TEXT BY SANDRA JENNER

FAST FACTS

 

Better Success Industrial Ltd
Unit 206, Mirror Tower
61 Mody Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2311-0191
Fax: 852-2728-5559
Email:
better19@netvigator.com
Web: www.better19.com.hk
Year Established: 1997
Major Product Categories: stainless steel products
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 2,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: 150,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 35 days
Factory Size & Location: 28,000 square metres; Guangdong
Workforce: 200
   
   
Botat Int'l Ltd
Flat 9, 14/F
Leader Ind Centre
57-59 Au Pui Wan St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2690-5191
Fax: 852-2693-2361
Email:
info@botat.com.hk
Web: www.botat.com.hk
Year Established: 1978
Major Product Categories: plastic gifts & premiums
Brands & Certificates: Dommy Duck, Jimmy Frog,
Mr Pose, Goo Goo Piggy, Moo Moo cow
Minimum Order: 3,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: -
Delivery Time: 30-40 days
Factory Size & Location: 2,000 square metres; Dongguan
Workforce: 100
   
   
Hong Sheng Mfg Ltd
Rm 1101
Shiu Lam Bldg
23 Luard Rd
Wanchai
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-6273-4234
Fax: 852-8343-4280
Email:
hs2@hongshengware.com
Web: www.hongshengware.com
Year Established: 1996
Major Product Categories: wire products & stainless steel products
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: one TEU for wire products & 5,000 pieces for stainless steel products
Monthly Production Capacity: 100,000 pieces wire products, 50,000 pieces stainless steel products
Delivery Time: 35 days
Factory Size & Location: 200,000 square feet; Jiangmen
Workforce: 120
   
   
Kin Kei Hardware Industries Ltd
Rm 704
Eastern Centre
1065 King's Rd
Tai Koo
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2561-6788
Fax: 852-2563-9115
Email:
info@hardware.com.hk
Web: www.hardware.com.hk
Year Established: 1973
Major Product Categories: bathroom accessories
Brands & Certificates: Volar
Minimum Order: -
Monthly Production Capacity: -
Delivery Time: 45 days
Factory Size & Location: Zhongshan, Zheijiang
Workforce: -
   
   
Plastmetic (HK) Mfy Ltd
Unit 12, 18/F, Rear Blk
Wah Fat Ind Bldg
10-14 Kung Yip St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2420-2168
Fax: 852-2489-2025
Email:
info@plastmetic.com
Web: www.plastmetic.com
Year Established: 1977
Major Product Categories: babycare products & bathroom accessories
Brands & Certificates: Getty (Baby) & Sofee Home (Bathroom); BRC Certificate, ISO 9001
Minimum Order: 5,000 pieces per set
Monthly Production Capacity: 80 containers
Delivery Time: 30-45 days
Factory Size & Location: 20,000 square metres; Dongguan
Workforce: 250
   
   
Union Luxe Development Ltd
Flat 6A, 7/F
Thriving Ind Centre
26-38 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2389-8848
Fax: 852-2763-5056
Email:
info@unionluxe.com
Web: www.unionluxe.com
Year Established: 1989
Major Product Categories: stainless steel stamping, furniture, kitchen appliances, bathroom accessories, cosmetic mirrors
Brands & Certificates: ISO 9001
Minimum Order: 5,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: -
Delivery Time: 25-45 days
Factory Size & Location: 8,500 square metres;
Dongguan
Workforce: 800
   
   
Wai Lun Offset Printing Ltd
Flat A2, 12/F
Yip Fung Ind Bldg
28-36 Kwai Fung Crescent
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2424-9049
Fax: 852-2487-0267
Email:
wailunop@biznetvigator.com
Year Established: 1993
Major Product Categories: household & home decoration products
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: one TEU
Monthly Production Capacity: -
Delivery Time: 60 days
Factory Size & Location: 6,000 square metres
Workforce: 200