31 March 2005
Seasonal Premiums(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 04,2005)
Heavily involved is 42-year-old veteran of the greeting cards, paper wrap and paper bag business Glory Moon Greeting Cards Co Ltd. "Christmas is our biggest season," says spokesperson Georgina Au. "We specialise in handmade cards and glitter and hot stamping to add that unique and personal touch. About 80% of all our business is for OEM orders."
Handmade cards have been popular for a number of years, but while they started out with simple clip-on pieces today's cards are much more sophisticated and far more elaborate, using different materials and more colours. As for Christmas cards, Au says the company uses additional materials such as wood and clip-on metal items, but the most popular motifs remain images of Santa Claus and angels.
"Valentine's Day is our next biggest occasion," says Au, "and traditional motifs like hearts and flowers are always in demand. However, modern designs also incorporate highly complex and creative graphic styles."
To help produce these original works, the company has its own design teams in Hong Kong and on the mainland, and makes some five million greeting cards per day at a 90,000-square-metre, 3,500-worker factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland.
Delivery time for minimum orders of one FEU is one month after all materials are received. Glory Moon's largest export markets are the US (50%) and Europe. "There is strong potential for further growth in the US," she believes.
Also offering a huge choice of 3,000-5,000 products is International Glass & Metal Mfy Ltd, a specialist in glass and metalware gifts, particularly for Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter.
"Our most popular season is Christmas, and our favourite product line is candleholders - of which we offer more than 1,000 designs in metal and glassware combinations," says marketing manager Tian Wong.
Other major premium items are glasses and metal and glass decorations. "Tealights in glass holders are also best sellers," she adds, "while our candle designs come in small and large designs at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$0.50 each up to US$20 for an elaborate chandelier with tealight candles."
For Valentine's Day, Wong says jewellery boxes and champagne flutes are in demand. "For Easter, candleholders remain hot favourites."
Each market has its own needs. "The US likes colourful, elegant and more decorative designs, such as the pineapple and palm tree-shaped candleholders that are now popular, whereas Europe goes for simpler designs," she says.
Minimum orders of 1,200 pieces per style are produced at the 16-year-old company's five-storey, 600-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, using glass and metal sourced from Australia and the mainland.
The US is the biggest market, accounting for 65% of business, with other important markets including Europe and Australia. The company is also expanding its business in Europe, particularly the UK.
Helping to meet the needs of American and European buyers is 27-year veteran Poss Trading Int'l Ltd, which produces Christmas and seasonal decorations, home d莜or and bath accessories, notes marketing spokesperson Devon Hsieh.
"Christmas gifts are our bread-and-butter business," explains Hsieh. "Particularly popular are our candles and ornaments and we have thousands of our own designs for buyers' selection."
Other important seasonal occasions are Easter and Halloween. "The trend is for more colourful, light-toned items and retail prices for our products range from US$4 each to more than US$50 for a quality ceramic figurine," he says.
The company sources polyresin, glass, fabric, ceramic, wire and metal from the mainland and accepts a minimum order value of US$5,000 for delivery 60-75 days after confirmation from its 60-worker facility in Shenzhen. The US accounts for some 70% of the company's exports, with Europe its other main market. "The Middle East is a new market for us," says Hsieh.
Meanwhile, 11-year-old Welcome Trading Co is busy producing a wide range of seasonal premiums, including ceramic and glass gifts, tableware, mugs, decorations and planters at its two factories in Shenzhen and Hunan Province on the mainland.
"We cater for most seasonal premiums and are busy year-round exporting for Western festivals such as Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day, plus Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival," says director Elane Lai. "Mugs are our most popular product line as they can be decorated for any festival or special day."
This ISO 9001-certified firm has its own printing department for decals, silk-screen and heat transfer printing, and can produce one million mugs per month using ceramics sourced from the mainland. Welcome's biggest market is Europe (50%), with other important outlets including the US and the Chinese mainland.
Lai says the company, which is also a Certified Manufacturer for Ceramic Tableware exported to the US, accepts minimum orders of 1,000 pieces for delivery 15-20 days after order confirmation for existing stock, or 35-45 days for OEMs.
So whatever the festival or season, Hong Kong companies can be relied upon for their wide array of quality, highly affordable premiums delivered with speed and efficiency to make that special celebration all the more memorable.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Dexson Industrial Co Ltd
International Glass & Metal
Polysun Products Ltd
Poss Trading Int'l Ltd