1 Sept 2003
Optical Illusion(HKTDC Optical,2003)
Clear View, Bright Future
Sunny Side Up
Always Looking Ahead
New Shun Tat Optical Mfg Co Ltd
|New Shun Tat Optical Mfg Co Ltd's current range extends to more than 150 different lines in a wide range of colours and designs aimed at a variety of sectors.|
NEW Shun Tat Optical Mfg Co Ltd, which traces its origins to a sole proprietorship begun in the mid-1970s, is a full-scale optical frames maker with a manufacturing facility on the Chinese mainland.
From modest production facilities and an office in Hong Kong, the company has grown steadily under the stewardship of its co-founders Chu Chi Pui and his wife Chu Li Fung King. The company moved to its present offices at To Kwa Wan in 1988 - the year it became a limited company.
Today, the Chu family lives on the mainland and supervises the company's 150-worker factory in Dongguan. Manager Ina Bongrain, who has been with the company for almost 14 years, runs the Hong Kong office.
Having learned his trade working for optical manufacturing companies in the 1960s and early 1970s, Chu Chi Pui started New Shun Tat by designing and manufacturing optical frames exclusively from acetate plastic. In recent years, the company has also begun to offer optical frames and sunglasses made of the alloy, Monel.
"We've always maintained a reputation for being a solid, reliable supplier of contemporary, custom-designed frames to some of Europe's most fashionable eyewear brands," says Bongrain.
A major turning point in New Shun Tat's development was its move into metal frames. "It was quite an honour when many of our long-term clients in Europe and South America asked our help in responding to the demands of the market by offering our designs in metal as well as plastic," Bongrain recalls.
"Since the mid-1990s, sales of Monel frames have increased every year to the point where they now account for about 40% of our output," Bongrain continues.
"While we would be happy producing 50% plastic frames and 50% metal frames, we must always keep our eye on market movements. If fashion changes dictate that we have to increase the number of metal frames we design and manufacture, we will always look after the requirements of our loyal clients."
New Shun Tat's range extends to more than 150 different lines in a wide range of colours and designs aimed at a variety of sectors.
"While we don't have our own brands, we sell to a lot of well-known fashion and eyewear labels across Europe and major parts of the South American continent," says Bongrain.
The company exports its optical frames and sunglasses for US$4.50-7.50 FOB Hong Kong. "Straightforward designs manufactured from Hong Kong-sourced acetate account for the lower end of our price range," Bongrain says.
"Meanwhile, Monel frames can cost as much as US$5.00-7.50. The top end of the scale is shared by frames made from Italian-sourced plastic which, apart from being more expensive, comes in better colours and designs than plastic available from other parts of the world," she notes.
"As far as the future's concerned, we have our eyes set firmly on extending our service of custom-designed optical frames into the US. We've been studying the US market for some time and now feel that we have developed a good understanding of what the major American eyewear brands want."
WRITTEN BY NICK FULCHER
New Shun Tat Optical Mfg Co Ltd
2/F, Ting Sun Plaza,
33 Sheung Heung Rd, To Kwa Wan,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
|Hong Kong Buyers Request Form||Overseas Buyers Request Form||More Publications|