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Letter Openers(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 01,2003)

Vol 1, 2003



Product Features

Money Boxes
Fun Ways To Save

Watch/Clock Gift sets
Timely Gifts

Letter Openers
Opening Up the Market

 

Letter Openers

Opening Up the Market

One of the highlights among Joyas Mfg Ltd's range of sleek, silver letter openers is a knife-like model with a green handle (right)

Despite the email phenomenon, millions upon millions of letters are sent and received each day. It might be true to say that every household has a letter opener of one kind or another and, as a premium item, letter openers still hold their own and continue as perennial export favourites from Hong Kong.

Joyas Mfg Ltd, established in 1991, is ISO 9001-certified and operates a 300,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. The company employs more than 800 skilled workers, 300 of whom are dedicated to quality control. Among this company's range are attractive letter openers.

Director of global marketing John Barnes says, "All our letter openers are die-cast metal alloy. We take the raw zinc alloy and smelt it and then high-pressure cast the items through a mould. Once the mould cools, we do extraction, shaping and polishing. Next comes the plating, in chrome, silver or gold. We purchase the base zinc alloy from Australia."

Some letter openers have silicon inserts to beautify them and, among a profusion of designs, there is even an electric version (model 1514CK) complete with a clock, and priced at FOB Hong Kong HK$57.50 (US$7.37). The minimum order for this model is 500 pieces.

"The electric letter opener is easy to use," says Barnes. "Just run the letter through a slide and the blade cuts a minute portion. It's battery operated, of course."

Prices of other letter openers in this company's range vary from US$1.00-2.50 each, FOB Hong Kong. Most are metal, and curved in shape. Price differentials are due to different design aspects.

Using the Joyas brand name, these letter openers sell mostly in the US and Europe. A minimum order is 500 pieces per item, for delivery 30-35 days after order confirmation.

Also offering letter openers is Eastwin Industrial Ltd, established in 2000. The company produces an attractive line of zinc alloy, nickel-plated designs, while there is also a high-end range in stainless steel.

Marketing manager Fannie Teng says, "We offer five different models of letter openers and we sell them in Europe, Australia and the US, mostly, while some also go to markets in Asia."

The premiums sector is the main target. "Our design and quality is middle- to high-class, so our range makes excellent give-away gifts for executives or VIPs," she adds.

A minimum order is 1,000 pieces per model. "For local buyers, we usually offer ex-warehouse prices. However, overseas buyers need to provide details of quantity and design," she says.

The raw materials come from Australia, while the products are made at a 300-worker factory on the Chinese mainland. Delivery takes 35-45 days after an order is confirmed.

DRS Silverware & Gift Ltd, established in 1997, mostly manufactures products in the giftware category. Zinc alloy usually features as the base metal, and the letter openers are silver-plated.

Sales manager Joey Lee says, "Our letter openers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the common oval and oblong to knife shapes. In fact, we have more than 30 different designs."

Delivery time is 35-40 days after order confirmation, and most exports go to Europe and the US.

Yeung's Mfg Ltd, established in1962 in association with Yeung's Trading Corp Ltd, is a producer of light commodities in metal and plastic, including the ubiquitous letter opener.

Sales manager Stanley Yeung, son of the founder, says, "Right now, popular designs include our letter opener with a spinning, decorative effect. The spinning part is changeable and just about any shape may be inserted - such as a flag or a design or a logo."

With 120 dozen required as a minimum order, Yeung says prices are about US$0.54 per piece (model number 98621), FOB Hong Kong.

Castlewood Int'l Ltd, established in 1992, operates a 100,000-square-foot factory on the Chinese mainland and employs 1,000 workers. Besides the letter opener model CWS-368B/3, which is priced at US$1.10 per piece, there is the two-tone sterling silver model (CWS-312A/2) priced at US$1.30 apiece. All prices are FOB Hong Kong for orders of 1,000 pieces.

Director Thomas Yuen says, "Even with email getting so popular the traditional letter opener is still in demand, largely because it is a gift item. We produce very fine looking items in this line. So, sales remain unaffected by email popularity."

Asked about the variations in price, Yuen says, "Prices totally depend on the design. Some demand more work. We do many different designs, in metal and in combination with other materials. We do both OEM and our own designs, and we find that ours are most popular. Although we export to the US, Europe and Japan, North America is the better market."

Minimum orders are from 200-500 pieces, depending on the design.

WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON

Contact Details

Castlewood Int'l Ltd
Flat 3, 20/F, Cheung Fung Ind Bldg
23-39 Pak Tin Par St, Tsuen Wan
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2402-8260
Fax: 852-2415-7861
Email: marketing@castlewood.com.hk

DRS Silverware & Gift Ltd
Unit 7, 4/F, Blk B
Hong Kong Ind Centre
489-491 Castle Peak Rd
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2744-7733
Fax: 852-2785-0075
Email: gifts@drssilverware.com.hk

Eastwin Industrial Ltd
Unit K, 18/F, Gold King Ind Bldg
35-41 Tai Lin Pai Rd, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2401-1827
Fax: 852-2401-1727
Email: marketing@eastwin.com.hk

Joyas Mfg Ltd
Flat A, 11/F, Hop Hing Ind Bldg
702-704 Castle Peak Rd,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2408-0880
Fax: 852-2408-0906
Email: info@joyas.com.hk

Kong Hung Industrial Co
Rm 511, Mansfield Ind Centre
Hong Yip St, Yuen Long
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2477-1195
Fax: 852-2474-7747
Email: tatung@netvigator.com

Yeung's Mfg Ltd
7/F, Sun Kwong Ind Bldg
1059-1061 Tung Chau West St,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2782-3183
Fax: 852-2782-3355
Email: yeungs@yeungsco.com

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