12 April 2007
Neat & Tidy(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 02,2007)
Laundry & Storage Products
|Sunny Age Ltd specialises in veneer wood products that include a contemporary design laundry basket in ashwood veneer|
Imagine how chaotic life would be without baskets, storage units and boxes to hold laundry, toys, clothing and books. Fortunately, Hong Kong manufacturers have plenty of products to help keep everything neat and tidy and, even better, organised.
For example, Sunny Age Ltd's wood veneer products include home office accessories (cabinets and CD holders), stationery (trays and organisers), storage (bins and boxes) and laundry hamper/bathroom accessories.
"The wood-look is popular now and it's environmentally friendly," says general manager Tim Lau. "Our finishing is also smooth and of high quality because we laser-cut the material."
One top-selling item is an ash veneer laundry basket measuring 36x46cm in diameter and unit-priced at US$16 FOB Hong Kong. It can be ordered with or without handholds.
"Besides ash veneer, other materials available include natural wood chip, birch, rosewood and poplar," says Lau, adding that the OEM/ODM firm also makes wicker and metal wire items.
Sunny Age's factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland has departments for product development, manufacturing (heat bending) of wood veneer products, laser cutting and laser engraving, metal mould-making and quality inspection.
Minimum order requirement is one TEU, with shipments on their way 60 days after order confirmation to main markets in North America, Europe and Japan. "In future, we plan to put more emphasis on compactable or stackable storage units," Lau says.
Meanwhile, a maker of non-woven products is R & L Media Ltd, whose "one-stop" services to its customers range from product design to fabric manufacturing and delivery of finished products. Garment bags priced from US$0.50-2.00 each FOB Hong Kong account for half of the company's total monthly output of non-woven products.
The company's classic zippered garment bag with handles and featuring snap buttons inside to keep clothing secure has been a top seller since it was first introduced some four years ago. The bag can be folded in two for easy carrying, weighs only 75 grams and sells for US$0.83 each FOB Hong Kong.
"Other garment bag models have transparent windows, extra pockets for accessories or come in extra-long sizes to carry wedding dresses or evening gowns," notes Rita Chan, sales manager at the seven-year-old firm.
R & L Media also manufactures combination non-woven and transparent PVC packaging bags for sweater storage, and a non-woven bag with or without drawstring closure that can substitute for the tissue paper retail shops use to pack new purchases.
A newly-introduced item is the OEM/ODM firm's re-usable sweater storage bag with a clear PP front panel and a non-woven back. "We see re-usable items as a new area for development," says Chan.
The company expects a minimum order of 3,000-5,000 pieces and delivers 15-20 days after order confirmation, mainly to customers in Japan, Europe and Hong Kong.
Another supplier is Bontex Industrial Co, whose 600D polyester storage boxes, baskets and laundry hampers are available mainly in rectangular and square shapes. "Polyester is lightweight and it's easy to wipe clean," says creative director Cynthia Ng.
The company's foldable polyester storage box measures 41x41x25cm, has PU handles and trim and sells for US$5 each FOB Hong Kong. "It is just the right container for toys, clothing and odds and ends," says Ng, adding that the hard cardboard frame features a non-woven inner lining.
She says that collapsible, 600D polyester laundry baskets sell for US$1.70-3.40 each, while a duffel bag model costs US$5 each. Minimum order for these and other items is 5,000 pieces, and the company delivers 45-60 days after order confirmation to markets worldwide. "We want to continue to develop new designs and styles," Ng says.
With its large, colourful selection of closet organisers and storage boxes, Gintex Development Co Ltd concentrates on the children's market. The firm's trichromatic storage cube that measures 35x35x35cm is a typical example. Made of non-woven material with a plastic frame, the unit is perfect for storing clothes or toys and sells for US$1.05 each FOB Hong Kong.
"This is our most popular product," says marketing executive Kathy Au. "We've had it since our company was founded in 1998. Also popular is a collapsible laundry basket in a cheerful flower pattern." This basket measures 42cm in diameter by 49cm in height, comes with an OPP frame and is priced at US$2.20 each.
Minimum order is usually 3,000 pieces, but for the laundry basket is 5,000 pieces. Delivery time after order confirmation is 4-6 weeks. Japan and the US are the company's biggest markets, although it also exports to Taiwan and Europe.
"We tend to stick with classic patterns rather than trendy ones, but customers can give us whatever designs or patterns they want. We find that adults want products in plain colours and that children like the brighter ones," adds Au, adding that besides storage and organiser products, the firm also produces houseware, leather/paper boxes and baby and nursery items.
Although they rank among life's genuine essentials, boxes, bags and baskets like these are items that one can easily overlook. But with typical style and flair, Hong Kong companies have breathed new life into these unsung necessities.
TEXT BY SALLY O'DELL
T K Rich Co
18/F, Blk A, Phase 2
Superluck Ind Centre
57 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories