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Children's Shoes(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2006)

Perfect Fit

Lap Ko Shoes Mfrs Ltd’s catalogue includes beautiful girls’ boots for winter and fancy models with floral motifs for summer

Loving parents give their children the best of everything - especially when it comes to the shoes that cradle, shape and nurture growing feet.

Long renowned for their ability to produce a wide range of comfortable footwear, Hong Kong manufacturers are particularly skilled at supplying high-quality children's shoes.

For example, Lap Ko Shoes Mfrs Ltd's catalogue is graced by elaborately designed children's footwear for different seasons. "We make fashion shoes for kids aged 3-10 years," general manager Joanne Wong explains. "We design about 80%-90% of our products."

Among the winter collection are funky girls' boots, including a brown model with embroidered and studded patterns and a pink pair adorned with embroidery, sequins and laces and ending in white fluffy pom-poms. "The uppers are made from microfibre, and the outsoles from thermoplastic rubber or TPR," Wong adds.

For summer, Lap Ko offers equally fancy shoes for girls, such as a white pair decked out with pink floral motifs. "The uppers are PU and the outsoles are TPR," Wong notes.

Most of the materials used come from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, and are processed at a 66,000-square-foot, 250-worker factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland. "We also make shoes for boys and babies," Wong adds.

Lap Ko manufactures some 3,000 pairs of babies' and children's shoes daily, mostly for export to European countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and France. "Europe makes up 70%-80% of our turnover," Wong remarks.

The 17-year-old firm's girls' shoes sell for about US$3.00-4.50 FOB Hong Kong a pair, while children's boots are priced at about US$3.50-6.50 a pair.

Lap Ko, which has its own Jocosa brand name, requires minimum orders of 1,200 pairs per style and colour delivered 45-60 days after confirmation.

Catchy and funky styles also characterise footwear from Onlen Fairyland (HK) Co Ltd, which is licensed to manufacture and sell shoes carrying Sanrio's Hello Kitty label on the mainland (excluding Hong Kong and Macau).

The popular Hello Kitty line includes children's sports shoes, among them a pair of vulcanised high-top basketball shoes in sparkle canvas. "The soles can be made to carry a vanilla smell," business promotion director Iris Lam notes, adding that the line also features pink mesh joggers and lilac PVC athletic shoes. "We design all these."

Apart from the Hello Kitty line, Onlen also manufactures boys' and girls' footwear under its own Pochacco, Nano Shoe, Smart Kids and Orlen labels.

Onlen uses cotton, rubber, PVC and PU from the mainland in its footwear, including the Nano Shoe range of waterproof canvas shoes made using the latest nanotechnology.

The 13-year-old firm produces 100 styles per month at its mainland factories in Shanghai and Chengdu and Fujian and Guangdong Provinces, which cover a total of 50,000 square feet and employ 3,000 workers.

Onlen requires minimum orders of 2,000 pairs per style and colour, delivered 60 days after receipt of a letter of credit to markets such as the US, the UK and Japan.

Equally committed to the children's market is Comfort Star Footwear Ltd, which makes joggers, boots and kids sandals, as well as a black-and-orange Nubuck pair for boys aged 1-6 years.

"Comfort is the main thing," stresses manager Eric Tong. "Children's skin is soft, and that's why the materials we use are comfortable and safe."

He says the one-year-old firm uses synthetic materials or leather, depending on the customer's requirement. "Most of the materials we use come from the mainland, although some new materials are sourced from Taiwan," Tong adds.

Comfort Star manufactures 300,000 pairs of children's shoes per month at its six factories in Guangdong Province, some of which have ISO 9001 certification. "Some of our factories have also been approved by multinational department store chains to make their wares," Tong notes.

A minimum order is 3,000 pairs, including at least 1,000 pairs per style, which can be delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation. "Our biggest markets are Canada and the UK," Tong remarks, adding other customers hail from the US and France.

Focusing on formal footwear, Conasia Industries (HK) Ltd manufactures a variety of black school shoes for boys and girls, with or without laces, made from PU from the mainland. "We also make slippers, sandals, party shoes and boots for children," adds merchandiser Coco Mak.

The 16-year-old company's four-floor, 350-worker manufacturing base in Dongguan on the mainland, produces one million pairs of shoes a year for export, mainly to wholesalers.

"The US and the UK are our biggest markets, together accounting for 50%-60% of our sales," Mak says, adding that Conasia also exports to France, Israel, Panama and South Africa.

Conasia's children footwear generally sells for US$2.50-3.50 FOB Hong Kong per pair for minimum orders of 6,000 pairs per style and colour delivered 45 days after order confirmation.

With such a wide selection on offer, sourcing quality children's shoes in Hong Kong to fit markets worldwide is child's play.



Comfort Star Footwear Ltd
Unit 7, 22/F
Wang Cheong Enterprises Centre
65-69 Chai Wan Kok St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2417-0166
Fax: 852-2417-2666
Web: www.comfortstarfootwear.com

Conasia Industries (HK) Ltd
Rms 49-50, 3/F, Blk F
Wah Lok Ind Centre
37-41 Shan Mei St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2695-9290
Fax: 852-2694-1750
Web: www.conasiashoes.com

Fun Fun Shoes Ltd
Rm 11, 17/F
Wah Wai Centre
38 Au Pui Wan St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2687-6400
Fax: 852-2687-6476
Web: www.funfunshoes.com

Lap Ko Shoes Mfrs Ltd
Unit 11, 10/F, Blk A
Hoi Luen Ind Centre
55 Hoi Yuen Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2389-3375
Fax: 852-2389-3513
Web: www.lapkoshoes.com.hk

Onlen Fairyland (HK) Co Ltd
Rm 25A
West Gate Tower
7 Wing Hong St
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2786-2076
Fax: 852-2786-1103
Web: www.onlenint.com

Sonie Shoe Fty Ltd
Rm 607
Kwong Sang Hong Centre
151-153 Hoi Bun Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2389-0735
Fax: 852-2341-5763
Web: www.sonie.com.hk

Welldone Shoes Co
Rm 503
Charm Centre
700 Castle Peak Rd
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2370-0823
Fax: 852-2748-1326