12 Nov 2004
Party Favours(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 11,2004)
Let The Good Times Roll
|Indispensable Halloween items such as EVA masks and a PU pitchfork are made by Riverstar Enterprises Ltd for markets in the US and Europe|
Wigs add fun and fashion to Halloween and other festivals, as veteran manufacturer A.B.C Wig Fty is well aware. Whether it's wild witches' locks, crazy-coloured bouffants or snow-white Santa manes, the company produces more than 200 styles of wigs, hair extensions, eyelashes, fingernails, hats, caps and other party favours.
"We've produced wigs since 1969, and cater for all occasions," says manager Ricky Lau. "Witch and clown wigs remain the most popular."
More than 400-500 workers at the company's 5,000-square-metre factory in Guangzhou on the Chinese mainland produce some 150,000-200,000 items each month for export to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Japan.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.80-4.00, while the minimum order is 1,000 items to be delivered 30-60 days after order confirmation. Raw materials such as PP fibre and PVC fibre are sourced from the mainland, Korea and Japan.
Halloween is also a major festival for Top Fun Ltd. "It's our biggest business event and a popular festival in all markets," says director Allen Chung. "Christmas is the next biggest business draw, but Easter is growing in popularity and carnival costumes are very popular in Europe."
Top Fun produces Halloween and carnival costumes and accessories such as bunny ears, devils' horns, butterfly wings and witches' hats at its 8,000-square-metre factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland.
Approximately 400 workers use a range of fabric sourced mainly from the mainland to produce some 200 in-house designs for sale in the US and Europe. Whatever the market, the appeal of some characters crosses all geographic borders. "Witches, Dracula, and devil costumes are in most demand, along with princesses," explains Chung.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1.50-2.50 for low-end items, US$2.50-4.00 for the medium range, and US$4-7 for high-end costumes including an assortment of masks and matching accessories.
The minimum order is 1,000 pieces per style delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation. Some 70% of exports go to the US.
Another company recognising that choice is vital is Perfectech Int'l Trading Ltd, which offers a huge range of more than 30,000 items, including PVC seasonal decorations, party favours, novelties and paper bags.
The 26-year-old, ISO 9001-certified company has an annual production value of approximately US$15m and employs up to 3,000 workers at its mainland plants in Zhuhai and Zhongshan.
"We are one of the largest companies of our kind in Hong Kong," claims sales manager Ronald Leung, "While there is increasing competition from mainland companies, we maintain a strong competitive edge based on quality and service."
Own designs account for 80% of the company's business, and it has one designer in Hong Kong and three on the mainland. "Our Christmas items, such as tinsel garlands, prove most popular in Europe, while the US prefers party items such as PVC hats and masks."
Europe accounts for 40% of exports, with the US, South America and East Asia also important markets. "We are looking to expand our US market activities, especially for Christmas decorations," Leung adds.
Perfectech's FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.60-25.00 per dozen for a minimum order value of US$3,000 delivered 60 days after order confirmation.
Another party favours and carnival decorations company, Party Products Mfg Ltd, produces more than 1,000 designs to satiate the increased demand for home decorative products.
These are manufactured and printed at the company's 300-worker, 3,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the mainland. "We offer a wide range of party, carnival and Halloween products and seasonal items," says director Johnny Ho. "Birthdays are also popular business, with party sets of cups, plates and napkins forming our best-selling items."
Own designs account for 40% of the company's business and OEM a further 20%. Ho says that, increasingly, customers want to work with the company to develop designs. "This area now accounts for more than 30% of our business, and we believe this category will grow larger," he explains.
Ho says party items still differ between boys and girls; boys favouring sporty designs and girls opting for flowers and ballerinas. "The cyber-look is also very fashionable, with holographic and laser patterns in shiny multicolours and blues and pinks," he adds.
Some 40% of exports go to the US and 10% to the UK. Other important markets include Europe, Asia and Australia. "Our party business is growing particularly well in the UK," claims Ho.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.10-5.00, with the upper-end price buying a party box with all accessories for 6-10 people. Mainland FOB prices are also available.
The minimum order is 10 cartons per item or a minimum value of US$5,000 per order, delivered 45-55 days after order confirmation. Raw materials include paper and plastic from the mainland, Japan and Europe.
Global demand clearly underlines the popularity of Hong Kong-made party favours and festival decorations.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
David Chiu & Co Ltd
Unit 212, Blk B
2-8 Watson Rd
North Point, Hong Kong