4 April 2005
Backpacks(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 02,2005)
Chong Yip Handbag Int'l Ltd's catalogue, for example, runs the backpack gamut from general-purpose versions in 600D polyester with 210D nylon trimming to hiking bags in 600D polyester with 840D nylon trim. "We offer different styles for different purposes, such as hiking, outdoor activities and going to school," manager Shirley Lai explains.
The 24-year-old company turns out 500,000 bags per month, including backpacks, sports bags, waist bags and cooler bags, at its 1,500-worker factory in Dongguan on the southern Chinese mainland.
Chong Yip's backpacks are made of rugged nylon and polyester from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland and sell for US$2.50-4.00 each, FOB the mainland port of Yantian.
Minimum orders of 2,000 units are delivered 50-60 days after order confirmation to major markets such as South America and Canada. "Together they account for about 60% of our sales," Lai reveals, adding that Chong Yip also exports to the US and the UK.
Turning from versatility to specialisation, P & S Enterprises Ltd focuses mainly on the needs of hi-tech buffs with the launch of a variety of laptop rucksacks.
"They have compartments for various accessories, such as a computer mouse, camera and MP3 player, as well as rubber earphone outlets," says director Andy Siu.
Ten-year-old P & S has built an annual turnover of about US$4.7m by producing about 70,000 rucksacks per month at its 8,000-square-metre, 300-worker factory in Dongguan.
The rucksacks, which are made of nylon and/or polyester with foam backing from Taiwan and Korea, are unit-priced at US$5-9 FOB Hong Kong.
Minimum orders of 800 units per model per colour bearing the company's Piranha brand are delivered 50-60 days after order confirmation and receipt of a letter of credit.
P & S products are exported mostly to Europe, which contributes 60% of the enterprise's sales. "We also sell to the US and Japan," Siu adds.
Taking a different tack, Grand Bag Centre Co Ltd makes a range of casual backpacks such as dobby nylon models and mini-ripstop nylon varieties with PU coating.
"The PU coating is thin and light," manager Mimi Chung says, explaining that the nylon is imported from Taiwan. "The backpacks have a simple design, but also include compartments for mobile phones and other gear."
Grand Bag also makes bags for specific purposes, such as its ripstop polyster backpacks that feature polyester sourced from the mainland. "These backpacks can be used for hiking or as schoolbags as the material is thick and tough," Chung adds. "We specialise in the medium price range, and our backpacks sell for about US$3-4 FOB Hong Kong each."
Established in 1981, Grand Bags makes about 100,000 backpacks per month at its Dongguan factory, which employs 450 workers and houses 300 sewing machines.
The 24-year-old company requires a minimum order of at least 800 units per style, but Chung says the customer can choose two to three colour combinations. "Delivery takes 45-60 days after receipt of a letter of credit," she adds.
Grand Bags bags bearing the Surprise and RV Sportage brands are exported to markets worldwide, including Europe, South America, East Asia and the Middle East. Europe and South America also feature prominently in the marketing strategy of Tri-Light Enterprise Ltd. "About 70% of our turnover comes from Europe," chairman Alan Ngai observes.
He maintains prospects are good with the opening of Eastern Europe and economic improvement in some Western European countries such as Spain, Portugal and Greece.
"While we focus on Europe, we are also trying to expand our South American market," Ngai stresses, adding South America makes up 20% of company sales. "We have a sister firm in Mexico, so we understand the Mexican market and want to take advantage of it to expand in South America."
The US accounts for 10% of the business of the company, which makes backpacks with 600D polyester sourced on the mainland. "Our prices are competitive," claims sales manager Dee Dee Cheng.
Established in 1990, Tri-Light has a monthly production capacity of 500,000 backpacks, which are available in minimum order values of US$5,000.
Marketing its products under the DiDi Mundo brand, Tri-Light operates a 5,000-square-metre factory in Jiangmen on the southern mainland that is staffed by 500 workers.
FOB Shenzhen prices range from US$1.50 to just over US$2 each, depending on product structure, material and design, and lead time is 45 days after order confirmation.
Another European-oriented supplier is Win Asia Bags & Luggages Ltd, about half of whose business comes from the continent with other major markets including Australia and South Africa. "We make casual backpacks for retail and promotional purposes," marketing executive Karen Lee explains, adding that Win Asia can supply minimum orders of 2,000-3,000 units 50 days after receipt of a signed contract.
Materials used at Win Asia's 800-worker factory in Quanzhou on the mainland include 600D polyester with PVC backing and 70D nylon sourced from the mainland and Hong Kong.
Obviously Hong Kong suppliers offer such stylish and functional backpacks that buyers are bound to keep coming back for lots more profitable orders.
WRITTEN BY LIZA LEE
B.P. Bag Co Ltd
Grand Bag Centre Co Ltd
P & S Enterprises Ltd
Tri-Light Enterprise Ltd
Win Asia Bags & Luggages Ltd