1 Aug 2003
Clogs & Sandals(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2003)
Vol 2, 2003
Ladies' Leather Shoes
Clogs & Sandals
Slip Into Summer
Big John Footwear Ltd produces a huge range of elegant ladies' slippers and sandals
Summer is the time for easy, casual footwear - shoes that look and feel as comfortable as bare skin. Clogs and sandals from Hong Kong are perfect examples of the type of feel-good footwear consumers all over the world seek for summer fun.
Big John Footwear Ltd has taken the casual comfort concept to heart, manufacturing stylish footwear such as a ladies' closed slipper, an intriguingly motifed closed slipper and a closed sandal at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$5.50-8.60.
Crafted from PVC, PU and nubuck leather sourced from Taiwan and the mainland at a 3,000-worker, 30,000-square-metre factory on the Chinese mainland, minimum orders of 2,000 pieces per style/colour can be delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation.
The 15-year-old company manufactures about 800,000 slippers and sandals per month for the US, the EU, Southeast Asia and Africa markets, principally for OEM customers but also under its own Big John label.
Big John spokeswoman Mandy Lam believes manufacturing flexibility is vital in fashion footwear. "We service the middle to top-end of the market, and we can deal with any client, big or small, to produce the ranges or styles they require," she says.
Fellow OEM supplier Global Master Trading Ltd has big plans for the future. "We're doing comfortable levels of OEM business now, but we aim to produce our own ranges shortly," manager Wilson Lui reveals. "Our in-house design team for this project also works directly with our OEM customers."
In the meantime, the 15-year-old company produces 20,000 pairs of ladies' shoes a month at a 3,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland, where it employs a workforce of 300.
Manufactured primarily from Taiwanese and mainland PU and leather, minimum orders of 100 pairs per style can be supplied within one month of order confirmation at FOB Hong Kong prices dependent on style and quantity.
Equally ambitious is Katima Khan, director of 21-year-old Hiki Footwear Co Ltd, who likes both ends of the market. "We produce both OEM contracts and our own styles," she observes. "We need to be stylists so we can control our own design."
The strategy works: the company's ranges of ladies' and children's shoes sell in Europe, the Middle East and Japan, where the quality satisfies a famously discriminating market.
Hiki Footwear manufactures 70,000 pairs of shoes per month with a minimum order of 500 pairs per style/colour delivered 35-45 days after order confirmation.
FOB Hong Kong prices vary from US$3.80-6.00 for PU shoes and from US$5.80-10.00 for leather footwear manufactured from materials sourced in Italy, Taiwan and the mainland.
A different approach is taken by 11-year-old Wing Yiu Industries Development Co Ltd, which performs significant levels of OEM work but also relies on market response and analysis for its positioning.
"A client will always pay more for a new style and good quality, but if you don't have that then a cheap price can also succeed," manager Joey Cheung says. "However, when it comes to delivery people rely on you."
A variety of luxury fabrics feature in Wing Yiu's products, which include soft leather clog-style slip-on sandals with suede insoles and EVA outsoles costing US$5.00-10.00 FOB Hong Kong a pair.
The company obtains its PU and leather from the mainland, where it has a factory employing 400 workers who manufacture 450,000 pairs of sandals a month for OEM clients in the EU and the US. Wing Yiu has a minimum order requirement of 2,000 pairs per style, which can be delivered in a brisk 14 days.
Like its competitors, Wing Yiu relies on market responsiveness, innovative production methods, an up-to-date attitude to systems and styling and competitive prices to maintain its market share.
That's why it always pays to put your best foot forward and make Hong Kong the first choice when it comes to casual slip-on summer ladies' shoes or OEM footwear of all styles.
WRITTEN BY JOHN NEWSON
Big John Footwear Ltd
Unit 4B, 3/F
Wah Shing Centre
11 Shing Yip St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Global Master Trading Ltd
Unit J, G/F, Workshop 3, Blk B
Hong Kong Ind Centre
489-491 Castle Peak Rd
Hiki Footwear Co Ltd
Units 10-11, 23/F
New Trend Centre
704 Prince Edward Rd East
San Po Kong, Kowloon
Legent Footwear Ltd
Hang Cheong Fty Bldg
1 Wing Hing St
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Sunbo (HK) Ltd
Rms 1223 & 1225
Tung Ying Bldg
100 Nathan Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Wing Yiu Industries
Development Co Ltd
Rm 910, Tower A
63 Wo Yi Hop Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
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