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STEP INTO ACTION(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear,1998)


March
1998


STEP INTO ACTION
Sports Shoes

THE ABC OF SHOES
School Shoes

STANDING TALL
Stiletto Shoes

COMFORT ZONE
Fabric Footwear

STEP INTO ACTION
Sports Shoes

THE sports industry is experiencing steady growth worldwide, and sports shoes form an integral part of this business. Hong Kong manufacturers are offering a wide range of shoes that is ideal for any game, set or match.

OEM is the speciality of Harbour Rich Int'l Ltd, which manufactures for well-known brand names. "We have over 10 years' experience in the business, manufacturing all type of sports shoes, including hiking, soccer, running, tennis, basketball, squash and casual shoes for worldwide markets," says managing director Cathay Lo.

With a factory in Dongguan, mainland China, and an office in Taiwan, Harbour Rich has a combined workforce of more than 2,000 employees. "We recently received the TQA-2000 Award," says Lo. The company plans to install another lasting line, which will give the company an additional production capacity of 800,000 pairs.

Model HG007 features crazy horse leather uppers and EVA/TPR outsoles, and sells for US$13.50 a pair FOB Hong Kong. Model RG004, made with PU/mesh uppers and EVA midsole, is priced at US$10 a pair. Minimum order is 4,000 pairs per style, with delivery taking 45-75 days after receipt of an L/C.

Another company that concentrates on the top end of the market is Taizin Co Ltd. "The US, Europe and Russia are our major markets," explains sales manager Lily Chan. "We specialise in manufacturing footwear products using multicolour injection and cold cure process."

The range of products from Taizin includes athletic, hiking, casual and canvas shoes. It has its own brand name, ARC. "We focus on providing superior quality, prompt service and competitive pricing," Chan says. "Every department has stringent quality control and according to one of our customers, the rejection rate is only 0.2%."

Prices for the sports range start at US$4.25 FOB Hong Kong for children's shoes and US$6.90 for men's running shoes. Minimum order is one TEU, and delivery is 45-60 days after order confirmation.

Kam Hon Trading Ltd was established in 1989. The 20,000-square-foot factory, staffed by more than 1,000 workers, has the latest in advanced automatic equipment.

"We manufacture over three million pairs of shoes for men, women and children per year," says assistant general manager Rachel Leung. "Over the last few years we have received several Chinese awards for service, and in 1996 we obtained a licence to make and sell junior and babies' shoes under the brand name of Disney Babies."

The company manufactures its own brand name of Lobo and has strong markets in Japan and Canada. Prices for a selection of injection-moulded junior shoes range from US$3.25 to US$3.60 per pair FOB Hong Kong. A typical PU model for babies sells for US$2.40 per pair. Minimum order is 6,000 pairs per size range, and delivery usually takes one month after confirmation of order.

Basketball, athletic and casual shoes are just a few of the styles produced by Fu Tai Industrial Ltd. "Our factory in Fujian [on the mainland] manufactures over one million pairs of shoes per year, with our main markets being Panama and Chile," says sales manager Keith Cheung.

The company, established in 1991, produces shoes under the brand names Nnas, Aimax and Pila. A pair of athletic shoes is priced at HK$38 FOB Hong Kong, while a pair of PU basketball shoes sells for HK$40. Minimum order is one TEU, for delivery 30 days after order confirmation.

One of the more established companies in the field is Tin Shun Hong. "We have over 33 years of experience in the business, and sell mainly to South America, the Middle East, eastern Europe and Africa," says managing director Kenneth Tse. "Most of our business is OEM, but we also have our own brand names of Empire, Double Geese and Lion."

The company produces sports shoes, canvas shoes and slippers. PU sports shoes with TPR outsoles are priced at US$5.80-6.30 a pair FOB Hong Kong. Clients must order a minimum of 3,600 pairs per size. Delivery is 60 days after order confirmation.

Founded in 1994, Grander Industrial (HK) Ltd is a relatively new company. "Jogging shoes are our biggest sellers," says manager Christina Lam. "Our markets are worldwide but we are always looking for new customers."

Besides jogging shoes, the firm also manufactures casual and other sports shoes at its 100-worker factory in Fujian, on the mainland. It sources PVC, PU and PU nubuck from the mainland or Taiwan.

The range of men's PU sports shoes is priced at US$5-8 per pair FOB Hong Kong, while children's PU models sell for US$2-4 a pair. Minimum order is 2,000 pairs per style, with delivery taking 30-45 days after order confirmation.

"Competitive pricing is the key to our successful OEM business," explains Vivien Liao, marketing manager for Wang Fat Trading Ltd. The company, which started in 1991, sells mainly to Canada, South Africa, Panama, Chile and Israel. "We have our design team who can turn around samples quickly, which is important when dealing with fashion items," Liao says.

Minimum order for the sports shoes, which have PU uppers and TPR outsoles, is one TEU. Delivery is 50-60 days after confirmation of order.

"We can offer customers low prices because we pay a lot of attention to saving costs during production," claims Frank Chan, director of Ever Success Footwear Ltd. "This does not mean we produce low-quality products. Rather, we recycle and reduce wastage."

Ever Success produces all types of sport shoes and EVA sandals. "Our minimum order size is 1,500 pairs per style for sports shoes and 3,000 pairs for sandals. However, for long-term customers we are willing to accept smaller orders, as these are often the beginnings of bigger orders," says Chan.

The main markets are the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan.

Written by Suzanne Rayment


THE ABC OF SHOES
School Shoes

THE start of the school year usually means new shoes, as parents find that their children have quickly outgrown last year's footwear. Hong Kong manufacturers are well attuned to the needs of small feet.

"Nowadays school shoes are more casual, and as such we do not produce a dedicated range," says Donien Mak, export manager at Conasia Industries (HK) Ltd. "We produce a wide range of casual black and brown shoes that are designed for comfort as well as style. It seems that comfort is the critical issue for both children and parents."

The company, which started in 1992, has a maximum monthly production of 90,000 pairs of all kinds of PU and PVC shoes. "A few years ago Russia and eastern Europe were strong markets, but these days our sales have evened out and we sell mainly to the US, the Middle East and Europe. Recently we have been supplying children's boots to a leading Australian department store," Mak says.

Price per pair starts at US$3.25 FOB Hong Kong, and the minimum order is 2,400 pairs with two colours. Delivery is 50-60 days after confirmation of order.

Pioneer Industrial Ltd has been in the footwear manufacturing and exporting field since 1960. "We are specialists in both hard and soft footwear," says director of marketing and sales Rebecca Chu. "We have two factories in Shenzhen [mainland China]. One of them concentrates on manufacturing children's and ladies' shoes and boots, with either leather or synthetic uppers. The other factory produces indoor slippers and EVA and PVC sandals."

Both factories are fully operated and owned by Pioneer, which also has a joint-venture factory in Hangzhou, mainland China, for manufacturing indoor slippers, slippers with stuffed animal faces, and novelty slippers. The firm imports leather from South America and PU from Taiwan.

The minimum order is 3,000 pairs per style when existing designs and materials are used, but Pioneer welcomes customers' designs. Delivery is 60 days after confirmation of order.

"Design is our strong point," says Leo Ng, director of Hop Yuen Int'l Trading Co Ltd. "We have an excellent design team that concentrates on producing top-quality leather and synthetic shoes for all age ranges."

Hop Yuen directs its designs towards the European market, although its also sells to the US, Canada and South America. The firm plans to exhibit at the next GDS shoe fair in Germany this year and to expand its market base.

Minimum order is 200 pairs for leather shoes and 600 pairs for synthetic models, with delivery in 60-75 days. The 200-worker factory in Xinhui, on the mainland, can also produce OEM products from customers' designs.

Kam Lee Shoes Mfy operates two factories in Dongguan, on the mainland, and has a monthly production of about 150,000 pairs, according to general manager Lo Kam Ming. "Most of our designs come from our clients, with our main markets being western and eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East," Lo says.

The firm obtains synthetic uppers from Taiwan, and leather from either the mainland or Europe. Prices for a selection of shoes and boots range from US$3 to US$4 a pair FOB Hong Kong, for a minimum order of 2,000 pairs/style. Delivery is 60-75 days after confirmation of order.

Lap Ko Shoes Mfrs Ltd, established in 1987, produces all types of shoes for all ages. "Many of our customers have licensing agreements with leading merchandisers," says marketing manager Joanne Wong.

The factory in Huidong, on the mainland, employs 200 employees and produces 150,000 pairs a month. Minimum order is 1,200 pairs per style and colour, and delivery is 45 days after confirmation of order.

Another company which produces licensed designs for well-known brands is Pak Po Co Ltd. "Our major market is Europe but some styles are specifically designed for the Southeast Asian markets," says sales manager Pauline Chow.

Minimum order is 1,500 pairs and delivery is 30 days after receipt of L/C.

Article Ltd concentrates on infants' and children's shoes and has an annual turnover of US$5m. "Our suede, PU nubuck and patent leather school shoes range in price from US$4.50 to US$7.10 FOB Hong Kong," says senior merchandiser Dan Choi.

Minimum order is 3,000 pairs per style, and delivery takes 60-90 days after confirmation of order. The company was founded in 1990, and its main markets are in Europe, Asia, South Africa and South America.

"Most of our school shoes are made with action leather," explains Judy Lee, merchandiser for Wearbest Shoes Fty Ltd. "This means they are more comfortable and longer-wearing. Our children's boots are particularly popular in Russia, Poland and [other parts of] Europe."

Wearbest makes its own brand name, Chariot, but is also happy to produce to customers' designs. Boots with full-grain uppers and TPR soles are priced at US$7.38 per pair FOB Hong Kong, while shoes with action-leather uppers sell from US$3.43 to US$5.28.

Minimum order is 2,000 pairs, for delivery 60 days after order confirmation.

Written by Suzanne Rayment


STANDING TALL
Stiletto Shoes

THE stiletto, first introduced onto the fashion scene in the 1950s, has tiptoed in and out of fashion almost every decade since its creation. So much so that the slender, pin-heeled stiletto has become a footwear classic. Aware of the demand for this indispensable fashion item, Hong Kong manufacturers are producing a wide range of stiletto styles in natural and synthetic materials.

Create Earth Co Ltd makes stiletto-style shoes under the brand name Jarusa. "Mainly we manufacture to our customers' design requirements, and the price will vary depending upon the type of material chosen by the customer and the complexity of the style," says manager Fairlan Ip.

The majority of Create Earth's stiletto shoes are made from PU, with PVC inners and soles, all sourced in mainland China. Model PW-0006 is a classic stiletto style made from PU. Available in sizes 36-41, the model features a black velvet finish, gold heel trim, and PVC lining and outsole.

With a marketing office in Hong Kong and an 800-worker factory on the mainland, Create Earth exports worldwide. "One of our strongest markets at the moment is Russia. We also have many customers in other eastern European countries, the Middle East, Europe and the US," Ip says.

Minimum order is one container, and delivery time after order confirmation is 10-30 days.

"We have seven production lines at our factory in [mainland] China, and have a production capacity of over 210,000 pairs of shoes per month," says Carlos Cheung, sales executive at East Asia Holdings Ltd. As the sole manufacturer for an international footwear chain, the company has considerable experience within the industry and extensive knowledge of footwear fashion trends.

"We currently have over 30 stiletto styles to meet fashion demands, with prices ranging around the FOB Hong Kong US$10 mark per pair, depending on the style and material used," Cheung says. More than half of East Asia's footwear is made of leather, including kid suede imported from India. The company also imports PU, in a wide price range, from Italy, Taiwan and the mainland.

"We have a number of very long-term customers, which reflects our high standards of quality and our competitive prices, and we have considerable experience in dealing with international companies, from the US to Japan," says Cheung.

The minimum order and delivery time depend on the shoe style and order size.

Ivy Chao, sales manager of Form Success Co Ltd, says: "We have over 20 years' experience within the footwear industry. And because we have three assembly lines, we can offer efficient delivery on an enormous range of shoe styles, including ladies' dress shoes and stilettos."

Model H7131391 is a court-style stiletto with diamanté heel detail. Made with patent-style PU with PVC inners and soles, the model sells for US$4 a pair FOB Hong Kong. "This is a classic style which is very popular irrespective of fashion trends. It is available in a wide range of colours and sizes," says Chao.

Form Success manufactures at its own factory in Dongguan, on the mainland, using raw materials sourced locally and internationally. It exports to markets worldwide including Russia, eastern Europe, Africa and Japan. "Our focus is to offer a reliable and cost-effective service which meets our customers' design and quality standards," Chao adds.

Minimum order and delivery time depend on customers' individual specifications.

Western Action Co Ltd manufactures women's dress shoes, including stilettos, under the brand name Caparros. "We have five collections each year, each featuring approximately 50 stiletto-type styles," says executive assistant Louise Hui.

"The majority are styled in textiles imported from Japan or [South] Korea, and feature many different types of decorative beading and finishes. The remainder are either PU or PVC, and we also produce some genuine-leather shoes with materials imported from Italy, India and Spain," Hui says.

Western Action manufactures to customers' design requirements, but it also has a design team with extensive experience and design scope. "From the moment our customer places an order, we will keep them informed of the production status so they will have the assurance that their products will be manufactured and delivered according to their schedule," Hui says.

FOB Hong Kong prices for Western Action's stiletto shoes range from US$15 to US$20 per pair. The company requires a minimum order of 600 pairs, for delivery 60-90 days after order confirmation.

"The demand for stiletto shoes depends very much on the season and the market, and because we have our own designers in-house, we are able to produce updated styles at all times, depending on our customers' requirements," says Nitin Tahilramani, sales manager of Grand Step (HK) Ltd.

Established in 1995, the company manufactures more than 100,000 pairs per month at its factory in Dongguan, on the mainland. It exports to markets in South America and eastern Europe.

"We use both PU and genuine leather depending upon our customers' design specifications. Whatever the budgetary requirement of the customer, or the size of the order, we will always ensure that we offer first-class-quality materials and service," Tahilramani says.

Prices for Grand Step's stiletto shoes depend on the style and materials used, with a simple PU model with heels of 7-9 centimetres selling for US$5-7 a pair FOB Hong Kong. The minimum order is one TEU (about 3,000 pairs of 7-9-centimetre-heel stilettos), to be delivered 45-60 days following confirmation of order.

Written by Judy Smith


COMFORT ZONE
Fabric Footwear

CANVAS shoes and other footwear made of fabric are the natural choice for an increasing number of consumers for whom comfort is everything. Hong Kong suppliers are offering an array of quality footwear with fabric uppers for adults and children.

Blossom Enterprise Ltd, founded in 1997, produces shoes made of fabric, EVA and PVC jelly, and slippers. Its range of shoes, in sizes three to 11, is priced from US$1 to US$2 per pair FOB Hong Kong. Blossom's fabric footwear include a leopard-skin print slipper, a light-orange thong, a light-green half-sandal with buckle, and a T-bar sandal.

The firm employs 200 workers at its factory in mainland China, using cotton fleece, fabric, EVA, PVC and leather from the mainland. Monthly production is 500,000 pieces. The minimum order is usually one 40-foot container, for delivery 60 days after confirmation. Major markets are the US and South Africa.

Mandy Chau of Blossom's export department says: "We are usually flexible about the minimum order size: some customers may want smaller quantities on a trial basis."

China Island Enterprises Ltd started operating in 1992 and now has a turnover of US$3.5m. It manufactures canvas shoes, EVA beach sandals and slippers.

Velvet baby slippers, in mouse and pig shapes, sell for US$0.90 per pair FOB Hong Kong. The company also produces four types of infant shoe. A pair of velvet elephant slippers is priced at US$1.05 FOB Hong Kong. A slip-on with printed canvas upper sells for US$0.95 a pair, while a T-bar shoe with similar print is US$1.10 per pair. An infant's twin gore injection shoe, featuring bear print, sells for US$1.10 per pair, based on an order of one TEU.

"Twin gore injection provides elasticity, which is good for children," says director Vicky Wong.

Using canvas and other fabrics from the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, China Island operates a 30,000-square-foot factory in Yangzhou, on the mainland. The firm employs 250 workers and manufactures 180,000 pairs of canvas shoes per month.

Minimum order is 2,000 pairs, for delivery in about 45 days after confirmation. The company considers the US, Australia and Portugal as its major markets, but has recently expanded into eastern Europe and Chile.

Glory Products Co Ltd has been producing shoes and bags since 1976. Using the brand name Pace, the firm uses canvas, nubuck leather and PVC from Taiwan and the mainland.

Model 7102, a navy-blue canvas slip-on for women, features a white-star motif and sells for US$2.70 per pair FOB Hong Kong. Sizes range from 36 to 41. Model F1615, a navy-blue lace-up canvas model for men, has a rubber sole and is priced at US$1.45. The size range for this model is from 37 to 43.

Export manager Sheron Or says customers' logos can be placed on the shoes for a minimum order of one TEU. A white printed logo will cost approximately US$0.05 more per pair, while an embroidered logo will also cost an additional US$0.05 a pair.

The firm manufactures 20,000-50,000 pieces a month per product, depending on the style, at its 2,000-square-metre factory in Fujian, on the mainland. Packing is one pair to a polybag.

The minimum order is one TEU, or 4,000-10,000 pairs, depending on the style, size and any special customer requirement. Ex-mainland China delivery to the firm's major markets of Panama, Egypt, Brazil and Tanzania takes 60 days.

Man Fung Hong was founded in 1980 and manufactures canvas, leather and PU shoes and slippers, as well as martial-arts goods.

A pair of tartan deck shoes with T/C uppers and PVC soles sells for US$1.28 FOB Hong Kong. Zip-up denim shoes with rubber soles and the customers' logo are priced at US$0.95 per pair. A pair of cotton lace-ups with rubber soles sells for US$1.48. Much of Man Fung Hong's footwear is packed in polybags.

"Our ladies' shoes come in European sizes 36-41, and our men's shoes in sizes 37-43," says business executive Celia Ngan.

The firm's 4,000-square-foot factory in Fujian, on the mainland, can produce 3,000-4,000 pieces a month. Four hundred workers use cotton, nylon, canvas, T/C, PVC, PU and leather from the mainland to make footwear for export to South Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Minimum order is one TEU per item. Delivery takes 40-45 days after receipt of an L/C.

Merry Lane Ltd, founded in 1993, manufactures footwear, porcelain, household items and kitchenware at a factory in Chaozhou, on the mainland.

Merry Lane uses the brand name El Marwa for its line of canvas, EVA and PVC shoes, says manager MF Cheung. A pair of dark-orange lace-up deck shoes is made of canvas and features stitching details on the uppers and a logo. Also available are children's tartan shoes with a hook-and-loop strap and faux laces. Prices are available on request.

Minimum order is one TEU, for delivery 45-60 days after confirmation. The firm's major markets are in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Strong Rich Int'l Ltd has been producing shoes at a factory in Jiangsu, on the mainland, since 1991. The company concentrates on casual footwear for infants, children and women. The unbranded shoes are made of canvas from the mainland.

The company makes infant shoes in European sizes 21-27, older children's shoes in sizes 28-34 and women's shoes in sizes 35-41. A pair of pink canvas deck shoes decorated with nautical signal flags sells for US$1.69 FOB Hong Kong for infants' sizes, and US$1.97 for children's sizes. A pair of white canvas slip-ons with red, green and blue polka dots is priced at US$1.17 (infants) or US$1.34 (children).

A black-and-yellow plimsoll, with a bow over the tongue, is priced at US$1.19 a pair for children's sizes and US$1.35 a pair for women's sizes. Sales manager Shirley Ngan says customers can order specific sizes or colours.

The minimum order of one TEU can be delivered 30 days after confirmation. Major markets are in Europe and Southeast Asia.

Written by Mischa Moselle

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