5 July 2007
Classy Covers(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 03,2007)
Protective Bags & Holders
|Leather goods and bags from Granda Industries Ltd include a versatile variety of items such as iPod cases, pen pouches, wine holders and cigar pouches|
Today's rough-and-tumble world demands high-quality, long-lasting protection for everything from cellphones to wine bottles
The spectacular growth in personal devices such as cellphones, iPods, digital cameras and laptops has added to an already growing market for fashionable, durable product holders.
Hong Kong manufacturer Jun Yip Int'l Ltd has its eyes firmly fixed on the sector's latest trends, producing 400,000 cellphone and iPod cases and wallets per month at its ISO 9001-certified, 1,000-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
"We introduce 10-20 styles per month, offering 50-60 cellphone and iPod covers in leather and PVC," explains manager Iris Cheung. "Leather cellphone cases are the most popular products, while iPod cases are generally in PVC."
The 18-year-old company's most recent designs include rhinestones and embroidery "to appeal to the young women's market", she says, while of more masculine appeal is the split leather cellphone case model 501656 that was launched in April this year. "This year we started producing camera cases in leather and PVC, which now account for some 10% of our business," notes Cheung.
Jun Yip's prices average US$2-3 per piece for minimum orders of 1,000 pieces per style, delivered 30-40 days after order confirmation. "The US accounts for 80% of our exports, with other important markets including Europe and Japan," notes Cheung.
Focusing on a different range of protective bags, 14-year-old Gimpex Industrial (HK) Ltd produces vinyl and bonded leather wine carriers, as well as folders and small leather goods.
The company manufactures 60,000 pieces per month at its 6,000-square-metre, 200-worker factory in Dongguan on the mainland. "Around 60% of our business is our own designs, and we introduce about 50 every year," explains managing director Wilson Wong.
Gimpex's wine carriers are particularly popular, accounting for some 25% of business. "We offer 30 wine carrier designs, mostly in vinyl and designed for two bottles," notes Wong.
They cost an average of US$3-4 per piece for minimum orders of 500 pieces per model in minimum order values of US$4,000 delivered 45 days after order confirmation. "Australia is our biggest market for wine carriers, but Europe is now picking up - especially Spain," Wong adds.
Another prolific exporter of durable and stylish bags, Hing Lee Handbag Mfe Ltd produces wine bottle holders, cosmetic bags, promotional bags, backpacks, cooler and tote bags as well as handbags.
This 24-year-old company produces around 500,000 pieces per month of various bags at its 450-worker, 8,000-square-metre factory in Guan Lan on the mainland.
"Cosmetic bags and bags for packaging - for example, coolers, satchels and promotional bags - are our most popular products," says manager Jimmy Fok.
"Wine holders account for around 10% of our business and are used for promotional purposes by large wine companies in Australia, France and Chile."
Some 50% of Hing Lee's wine holders are made of polyester fibre, with the remainder in artificial leather. "We supply some of the biggest winemakers in Australia," Fok claims.
Hing Lee launches 40 styles twice a year. "However, OEM orders now account for up to 50% of our business," notes Fok. "This trend is accelerating as customers seek to differentiate their designs and create a combination of materials offering a high-quality look at very affordable prices."
Prices for wine holders average US$1.50 per piece for a minimum order of 5,000 pieces, delivered 45 days after order confirmation. "About 40% of our business goes to the US and 30% to Europe, while other markets include Australia and Japan," says Fok. "We have long-term customers and a very stable business and will continue to focus on these markets and product lines."
Offering an equally varied range of bags, Let-Win Plastic Products Fty Ltd produces small items such as PDAs, camera and mobile phone bags, pencil cases and pouches, cosmetic bags, CD holders, household and automotive organisers, as well as computer, school and children's bags and rucksacks.
These are manufactured at the 23-year-old company's 100,000-square-foot, 700-worker factory in Shenzhen. "We offer more than 200 new items a year under our Zig-Zag label and also cater for OEM orders, which account for 30%-40% of our business," explains assistant manager Kevin Shea.
"Small bags for cameras, PDAs and mobile phones account for 20% of our business and we produce 30-40 designs - mainly in nylon and polyester for the medium-end market."
Shea notes the trend for smaller bags in line with today's product trends. "In addition, we have moved away from previously popular black, grey and dark blue colours towards lighter neutrals such as khaki and brighter colours, like orange and red."
In addition, he notes a trend for more fashion-conscious laptop bags which offer a multi-purpose use. "Germany is our leading market, taking 20%-30% of our exports," notes Shea. "The UK and Italy are also large markets and we export to Russia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Central America, Australia and the Middle East."
Let-Win's FOB Hong Kong prices for PDAs, camera and mobile phone bags range from US$0.50-1.30 per piece for minimum orders of 500-1,000 pieces per style delivered in 30-45 days.
But whatever the need, markets around the world are looking to Hong Kong's expertise and service for affordable, durable and stylish protective holders for an increasing range of products.
TEXT BY SANDRA JENNER