17 June 2004
Beauty & Bathroom Products(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 06,2004)
Beauty & Bathroom Products
Hats & Caps
Shampoo massage brushes, pumice stones and bath brushes are among the major items in Handiwares Co Ltd's bath and beauty range
The beauty and bathroom products sector is in full flow, with buyers pampered by a wide array of products ranging from scented bath essences to shower radios and towel warmers.
Recognising consumer-need for a wide choice, Alice and Law Co Ltd has tapped its expertise in chemicals to offer numerous laundry products, air fresheners and bath items. These include scented bath soaps, salts, confetti, petals and leaves, fragrant beads, pebbles and pearls, fizzers, talc and bath gift sets.
"Our most popular items are our bath confetti and fizzers," explains manager Betty Chan.
Alice and Law started in the garment business in 1973, and used its chemicals expertise to move into laundry products in 1995. Two years later, it added bathroom items at customers' behest.
"We offer our own brands - Code Wash for laundry items and Slimate for bathing products - although 90% of our business is OEM," adds Chan.
Bathroom products are used daily, Chan notes, which makes them particularly attractive as a business. "Our bathroom toiletries feature all the colours of the rainbow and we offer numerous designs, with flower forms particularly popular at the moment."
The company produces more than a million items each month, at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$0.20-0.30 for paper soap to US$1 and upwards for gift sets.
Manufacturing takes place at the company's 1,200-worker, 19,000-square-metre, ISO 9001-certified factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland, which provides laboratory testing to meet US and European standards.
Exports are split evenly between the US, Europe and Japan, with delivery 45-60 days after order confirmation for minimum order values of US$3,000-5,000.
"Our main customers are TV sales channels, importers, department stores and superstores," says Chan.
Also focusing on highly affordable beauty products is Handiwares Co Ltd. About 60% of its business comprises hair and body care items, including hair brush and shampoo massagers, hair removers, body brushes and massagers, manual body relaxers and pumice stones in the FOB Hong Kong US$0.50-0.60 range.
"We produce more than 100,000 pieces per item per month at an 80-worker, 3,300-square-metre partner factory in Huizhou," explains director Steven Shair. "Our minimum order requirement is 4,000 pieces per item, with delivery 30-60 days after order confirmation."
The company's most popular line is a special shower brush made of highly durable, elastic POE. "This is unaffected by hot water, won't harden and maintains a very comfortable and flexible form," claims Shair.
Handiware's products are manufactured in clear plastic featuring orange, green, blue or neon colours. "This produces a very attractive look," says Shair, "while we are also introducing pink and purple, which are popular beauty product colours at the moment."
Europe is the company's biggest market, accounting for 50% of business, followed by the US. "We are also looking to expand our business with the UK," reveals Shair.
Prompt delivery and multiple choices are also key criteria for Prominent Co, which offers a wide range of bathroom, baby, health care and hair accessory products. This exporter currently offers more than 3,000 items, including nail, hair and bath brushes, massagers, wash pads and mitts, bath straps and scrubbers.
"We offer OEM as well as our own brands, Maria Kiddie for baby products and Maria for the remainder," says proprietor Maria Yip.
Pampering products are always in demand, she explains. "Currently, some of our hot items are our plastic scalp massager and shampoo brush models 9038 and 9338," she adds. "Our mesh netting sponge scrubbers are also very popular."
While products are available in a wide range of soft or vibrant shades, Yip says there has been a noticeable change in colour preference over the past year. "Previously, white and pearly colours were the fashion while this year there is a trend towards sharper colours such as bright pinks and purples."
Prominent began trading in 1985 and partners with a 300,000-square-foot, 1,000-worker mainland factory in Dongguan, which delivers minimum order values of US$4,000 35-45 days after order confirmation.
Products are exported worldwide and Europe takes more than 60% of the total. "We are also looking at new markets in Russia and Eastern Europe," Yip reveals.
Europe is also the leading market for Sanwall Electric Products Co Ltd, which has made electric towel warmers something of a specialty and devoted one-third of its business to them.
"Consumers love that warm cosy feeling of a hot towel," observes marketing manager Viola Leung, adding that the 24-year-old firm currently offers more than 10 free-standing or wall-mounted models.
"Our most popular models are the T202 four-rail, wall-mounted 95W warmer and the T207 five-rail free-standing 100W design, both of which are available in white, silver or chrome," says Leung.
Some 600 workers at the company's ISO 9001-certified, 400,000-square-foot factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland manufacture these and other products such as power supplies and speaker stands.
Sanwall offers CE, GS, UL, CUL, BS and other approvals and exports minimum orders of one TEU to numerous countries 30 days after order confirmation.
Whether it is potions for the bath, massagers or sponges, towel warmers or shower radios, Hong Kong manufacturers leave no stone unturned when it comes to making bath time fun time.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Alice and Law Co Ltd
Rm B1, 2/F
90-94 Nathan Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Brilliant Rich Electronics Ltd
Flat I, 2/F
Universal Ind Centre
19-21 Shan Mei St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Handiwares Co Ltd
Austin Commercial Centre
4 Austin Ave
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Flat C, 4/F
Speedy Ind Bldg
114 How Ming St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Sanwall Electric Products Co Ltd
7/F, Blk A
On Fat Ind Bldg
12-18 Kwai Wing Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories