4 Aug 2008
Seasonal Cheer(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 08,2008)
Giving traditional ideas an innovative twist, the new range of Christmas decorations from Hong Kong exudes creativity that ensures merriment and joy
It would be a strange Christmas without all of the delightful decorations that add cheer and colour to homes, shops, offices and streets. Thankfully, Hong Kong manufacturers are helping the world to jazz up its festivities with innovative combinations of tradition and creativity.
Christmas trees, for example, are an integral part of celebrations, and very traditional. However, there is healthy demand for the convenience of artificial versions. Less messy than the real thing, synthetic trees can also be very creative and colourful, as exemplified by the range offered by Run Leader Int'l Co Ltd.
"We have more than 100 tree styles, so customers have plenty of choice," says Sales and Marketing Manager David Lo, adding that the trees are made mainly from PVC and the ornaments are PS sourced from Taiwan.
"Among the most popular styles are a three-foot 'frost' tree in sparkling white, and a five-foot 'mixed-pine' tree, both of which come with decorations," he notes.
He advises that a wide variety of colour options are available to meet different requirements. "Some buyers go for pastel colours and white, while others prefer darker colours," he says, citing regular green and dark green as popular shades. "As we are an experienced pine needle manufacturer, it is easy for us to make many other colours as well, such as orange and pink."
He also points out that the shape of a tree can be made to specification. "Some buyers prefer slim styles, for example, while others want trees that have a fuller shape. The number and style of the decorations are also up to the customer," Mr Lo observes. On the other hand, he notes, Run Leader continually provides fresh product ideas for customers.
Innovation is also an important consideration for Krebs Int'l Co Ltd. "Our products are a good combination of Old World design and new trends," explains Bernd Feindor, Marketing Director Europe.
"We have a design team comprising staff in Germany, the US and the Chinese mainland who work together on new trends and designs. We cover the whole range of glass ornaments, from the inexpensive promotional item to the high-class collectible ornament."
Among the Christmas decorations for the coming season are different sizes of glass balls, from 40mm to 80mm in diameter and in apple green or forest green.
There is also a Santa Claus enclosed in a globe set on top of a gift box, while another model, featuring a Santa figurine on ice, is made from a single piece of blown glass.
Another sure-fire seller is "The night before Christmas", a 67mm glass ball depicting Santa flying over a city.
"We are able to develop special lines with our bigger customers, and cover all their needs in glass," says Mr Feindor, adding that the firm has "all kinds of customers" from mass-market US chains to high-end UK department stores.
"Our largest market is still the US, followed by Europe, but we have customers around the world. Among the markets we are targeting for new customers are Asian countries and South America," he notes.
"We have our own brand, Christmas by Krebs, which is strong worldwide," Mr Feindor maintains. "The Krebs family, which owns the company, is very involved in its marketing."
Another major business in the sector is East Asia Ornament Industrial Co Ltd, which puts a premium on keeping abreast of product trends and market needs.
"We talk with our customers to find out what they want, what the trends and colours in their country are," says Vice President Anthony Choi. "We create about 20 collections each year."
Among the latest products are fabric Santa Claus and Snowman figures in different designs, including 5x9 inch gift bags in the form of either icon, and 7-inch hanging decorations.
"These ornaments are made from felt, velvet and terrycloth, and the fabrics are sourced locally," informs Mr Choi. "Our production facilities are located in Shantou, which is famous for its textiles industry."
Giving traditions a contemporary twist, Christmas decorations on offer from Hong Kong for the coming season will ensure festivities are creative and cheerful.
TEXT BY ANNE WILLIAMS