14 Jan 2004
Hong Kong Leather Goods & Bags
In The Bag
Evergreen Handbags Fty
Adson Group Ltd
Adson Group Ltd produces a wide array of leather goods, including this leather handbag and satin evening bag (back)
The Adson Group celebrated its 21st birthday in fitting style last year by starting work on a new factory on the Chinese mainland that will expand its rapidly growing PVC and nylon handbags business.
According to director Susan Cabanal, it is a business that Adson, best known as a supplier of high quality small leather goods, entered mostly in response to customer demand.
"Our second business is handbags," Cabanal admits, explaining the company manufactures high quality leather handbags, nylon with leather, and nylon with PVC.
"Before we manufactured all-leather handbags, but some customers - like department stores - were looking for the other materials, so we try to meet market requirements."
Keeping long-term customers happy is a specialty for a company which designs and manufactures for leading high quality, international brand names such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Samsonite and Arpel.
"Our main business is small leather goods, and we manufacture 100,00-120,000 items per month," Cabanal explains. "We have a five-year contract with Arpel and have been working for approximately 13 years with Polo Ralph Lauren and about seven years with Samsonite."
Although OEM design and manufacturing is its core business, Adson has also developed a significant following for its own Adson brand, which it is currently working hard to build in the rapidly growing mainland market.
"Some of our customers, like department stores in Spain, Denmark, Australia and Japan, use our Adson brand, but most of our customers have their own brand names," says Cabanal, pointing proudly to some of the many exquisitely crafted items displayed around the company's boardroom.
Not all of Adson's designs are on public view, however, as many are made exclusively for particular customers, sometimes using exotic leathers such as crocodile. "Most of the leather we use is cowhide sourced from Italy, Spain, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Norway," Cabanal adds.
Europe is the 22-year-old company's main market, but it also does a substantial amount of business with the US, and smaller volumes in Japan, other Asian markets and Australia.
Adson is particularly excited about prospects on the mainland, however, especially after the new factory near Shanghai comes on stream later this year.
The new plant will complement an existing 14,000-square-metre operation with 700 production staff in Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, and will also utilise the creative designs developed in Hong Kong.
Some ideas come from customers, but the majority demand original designs from the company. "The design ideas for the small leather goods come from company founder Adson Lai and myself, and we have a handbag designer who also does evening bags and some of the small leather goods," Cabanal explains.
Both Lai and Cabanal constantly monitor fashion trends in the company's main markets, particularly popular items such as small leather goods, and Cabanal notes that demand is currently strong in the US for coin cases.
"For small leather goods most customers are looking for trendy colours like pink, yellow, blue, or lime," she adds. "In Europe they are looking for at least six colours in a collection of fashion wallets, but for basic wallets it's usually only four - black, brown, burgundy or red while for bags it's red, black and beige."
Adson has maintained a consistent focus on well-designed, high-end goods, and the company's FOB Hong Kong prices reflect the quality materials and manufacturing.
"For simple men's wallets prices are around US$4.50-8.00, depending on the wallet, while ladies' wallets start at US$5 and range up to US$20, again depending on the leather and the construction," Cabanal reveals.
Adson has a minimum order of 300 pieces per style and 2,000 items per shipment delivered 45-90 days after order confirmation for all products, including PVC and nylon handbags that cost around US$5 and leather that begins at approximately US$12. "The highest priced bags can be up to about US$80 but that's for bags which are leather with leather lining - all Italian leather," Cabanal concludes.
WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE
Adson Group Ltd
Unit 11-13, 16/F, Millennium City 5
418 Kwun Tong Rd, Kwun Tong,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel : 852-23432385
Fax : 852-23414255
Email : email@example.com
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