6 Feb 2006
Sports Shoes(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 01,2006)
Nisun Int'l (Group) Co Ltd manufactures eye-catching soccer shoes that combine urban fashion flair with rugged durability
As usual, speedy Hong Kong footwear manufacturers such as Nisun Int'l (Group) Co Ltd are setting the pace in the race to meet the demands of consumers worldwide.
The nine-year-old company manufactures an enormous range of footwear such as basketball, tennis and running shoes for men, women and children.
Typical of Nisun Int'l's output are eye-catching soccer shoes that combine urban fashion flair with the rugged durability needed by consumers in many different markets.
"Our principal markets are Europe, Latin America, South Africa and Japan," says managing director Michael Lin. "The proof of our quality is OEM production for Head, Lee Cooper and other major brands."
Nisun Int'l sources both full grain and synthetic leather - primarily from Hong Kong suppliers - for processing at a 15,000-square-metre factory on the Chinese mainland.
The plant in Jinjiang City, Fujian Province, employs 800 workers who produce 300,000 pairs a month. "We require a minimum order of 1,200 pairs per style delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation," Lin adds.
Hugo Enterprise Ltd, meanwhile, prefers to focus on running shoes. "The demand for running shoes is highest, as they can also be worn with casual attire," explains manager and partner Lewis Lee, adding that the eight-year-old company also produces soccer and basketball shoes. "We manufacture on an OEM basis and also provide our own designs under our RENK brand."
The company sources most of the PU, PVC and TPR used in its shoe uppers and soles from the mainland, but will procure materials elsewhere at customers' request.
Hugo's products are manufactured at a 1,000-square-metre mainland factory employing 100 workers near Xiamen in Fujian Province. "We export primarily to South America and Europe," Lee advises, noting that minimum orders of 1,000 pairs are delivered 40 days after order confirmation.
Fourteen-year-old industry veteran Juniper Industrial (Rising) Ltd has noticed a healthy boost in orders recently.
"Demand has increased this year for both soccer and running shoes," says marketing manager Ken Fok.
The company's soccer shoes feature PU, PU/ mesh and satin PU/embossed mesh uppers and TPU, phylon and rubber soles, although it can also produce nubuck and leather footwear.
Materials from the mainland are processed at a 10,000-square-foot factory in Fujian Province that employs 400 workers and produces 80,000-100,000 pairs of shoes a month.
Juniper requires 1,200 pairs per item in one TEU, which are delivered 35-45 days after order confirmation. "Our leading export markets are Latin America, followed by Europe, with the US an emerging market," Fok adds.
However, Leopard Industrial Ltd believes market demand for its running shoes has remained unchanged during the past year. "We design our uppers, while the phylon soles are the most popular," manager Anndy Lai explains. "Our own staff are in charge of production, so we can promptly follow-up on customer requests."
The 10-year-old company uses PU, leather and TPR uppers from the mainland, but also obtains soles from Korea and Taiwan for processing at a 580-worker plant in Fujian Province.
"Our largest markets are the US and Europe," Lai says, adding that Leopard Industrial requires minimum orders of 3,000 pairs per model for delivery 30-40 days after confirmation.
Equally focused on running shoes is Hua Tai Industries (Far East) Ltd, which was founded eight years ago. "We have experienced a slight decline in demand, but our running shoes have remained most popular, followed by basketball shoes and then soccer footwear," explains sales manager Jacky Ng.
Approximately 70% of Hua Tai's products are based on the designs of customers in South Africa, Europe and Latin America and processed at a 1,500-square-metre factory in Fujian Province that employs 500 workers. "We require minimum orders of 2,000 pairs delivered 30 days after order confirmation," Ng adds.
Founded in 2004, newcomer Global Succeed (Holdings) Ltd focuses more on shoes with a sporting look rather than performance shoes. "We manufacture for name brands, including Von Dutch and Raysis," claims sales and marketing executive Denny Chan. "We will provide our own designs for some less-advanced markets such as India."
Most materials such as nylon and nubuck are sourced from the mainland, while specific leather uppers and other materials are procured elsewhere, mainly Taiwan.
Global Succeed manufactures at a 100,000-square-foot, ISO 9001-certified factory in Fujian Province that employs 1,700 workers who produce 350,000 pairs of shoes each month.
"Our most important markets are France, followed by the US and Canada, Australia and India," Chan advises, noting that Global Succeed requires minimum orders of 4,000 pairs delivered one month after confirmation.
Obviously, Hong Kong manufacturers have the inside track on providing the sport shoes that win the race for largest market share around the world.
WRITTEN BY JOHN CASEY
Global Succeed (Holdings) Ltd
8 Commercial Tower
8 Sun Yip St, Chai Wan
Hua Tai Industries (Far East)
Rm A, Flat 22
Henen Electric Development Bldg
389 King's Rd, North Point