Monday, September 9th, 2013 - HKTDC
Hong Kong, Sept 9, 2013 - (ACN Newswire) - The 32nd HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, which ended yesterday, attracted nearly 19,000 buyers, up seven per cent over the previous year. Significant buyer growth came from a number of countries, including the Philippines (up 46%), the Chinese mainland (up 25%), Brazil (up 18%), Australia (up 16%) and Indonesia (up 13%).

The five-day fair (4-8 September), the largest show of its kind in the world, drew more than 750 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions. The fair was organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd.

Timepiece Extravaganza

"Today's consumers are particularly discerning about watch brands," said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. "That means promoting brands will become a key part of development. The new Timepiece Extravaganza, an expanded version of Brand Name Gallery, was set up with this in mind, to attract more international exhibitors and buyers."

The HKTDC also organised about 80 overseas buying missions to the fair, along with 30 special activities, ranging from watch parades and product launches to seminars and networking receptions.

Fair Survey Findings

An independent survey, conducted on site during the first three days of the fair, interviewed 420 exhibitors and 819 buyers, getting their views on such issues as market prospects, product trends and purchasing methods.

The majority of buyers and exhibitors surveyed were optimistic. Some 83 per cent of the buyers and 77 per cent of the exhibitors expect sales to increase or remain unchanged in 2014. About 74 per cent of the exhibitors and 63 per cent of the buyers believe that production and sourcing costs will rise because of higher costs for labour and raw materials.

Promising Products

Buyers and exhibitors alike look to Western Europe, North America, the Chinese mainland and ASEAN markets for sales in the coming year. Both also expect fashion watches, slim designs and jumbo-sized cases will have the highest growth potential in the coming year, with quartz watches and metal dials being the most popular. As for product development, buyers and exhibitors consider brand-licensing watches and limited-edition collections the best strategies.

Hong Kong Sourcing

The survey also found that buyers in general are satisfied with the quality, durability, function and innovation of Hong Kong's watches and clocks. More than 40 per cent of the buyers surveyed are sourcing from Hong Kong suppliers; half of them expect that their sourcing volume will increase in the coming three years.

Small-Quantity Purchasing

The survey also looked into the sourcing patterns of buyers. Most buyers said that they maintain a small inventory and prefer a shorter delivery lead time. They also tend to place small-quantity orders; 85 per cent of buyers source fewer than 1,000 pieces per order.

Responding to market demand, a "Small Order Zone" was set up at the fair, with orders available for between 20 and 1,000 pieces. The zone attracted more than 7,000 buyers during the fair period, generating over 10,000 business connections.

Fashion Selling

Add-Inc Ltd, a company that specialises in smart watches, was among the new fair participants this year. Company Director Franky Man said that, as the timekeeping function of watches is gradually being replaced by smart phones, "watches must become fashion accessories with electronic features to attract customers." He said that Add-Inc's new Add Me smart-watch series received many enquiries during the fair.

Fair exhibitor Acestar Concept Ltd, based in Hong Kong, was also pleased with business. "Our commemorative watch for Van Gogh's 160th birthday was very well received," said company President Esther Wong. "Many buyers expressed interest in distribution, with the majority being Asian buyers, matching our goal to develop the Asian market."

Business-Matching Success

Indonesian buyer Michael Lakat, Group Merchandising Manager of PT Tozy Sentosa, said he was looking for women's watches at the fair, in response to the Indonesian market's interest in fashion timepieces. The Hong Kong fair, he added, met his needs. And more. "The scale is impressive. The business-matching services also helped us meet quality suppliers."

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A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.


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Joe Kainz
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