The 34th HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair and the 10th HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair, both organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), drew to a successful close after a four-day run April 20-23.
The two fairs welcomed close to 47,000 buyers from 121 countries and regions. A satisfactory increase in buyer turnout was recorded from several markets, including Mainland China, Macao, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey and Brazil. More than 28,000 buyers attended the Houseware Fair, while close to 19,000 buyers visited the Home Textiles Fair.
“Smart homes are becoming an integral part of urban living, so we are pleased to see more exhibitors developing and introducing smart home products to drive sourcing demand,” says Benjamin Chau, HKTDC deputy executive director.
“In addition, the HKTDC continued to work with ASEAN countries to invite their manufacturers and buyers to participate this year’s fairs. At the Houseware Fair, the Best of ASEAN zone showcased some outstanding products from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.”
To gauge the industry’s views on market prospects, product trends and the current hot issues, the HKTDC commissioned an independent on-site survey during the Houseware Fair in which a total of 535 buyers and exhibitors were interviewed.
Despite the current economic uncertainty, 53 percent of respondents expected the ongoing Sino-US trade friction to have no impact on the sector’s export performance over the next six months, while 60 percent believed Brexit will have no impact over the same period.
The survey also found industry players to be cautiously optimistic about market prospects, with 37 percent of respondents anticipating overall sales to grow and 51 percent expecting sales to remain steady in 2019.
Respondents were also asked for their views on the growth prospects for the industry’s major sales markets. The survey revealed that Japan (67 percent), Taiwan (66 percent) and Hong Kong (65 percent) are the three most promising traditional markets, while Mainland China (70 percent) and ASEAN countries (67 percent) are the two emerging markets with the strongest growth prospects.
Asked about different product categories, respondents said that eco-friendly products (16 percent), kitchenware and gadgets (15 percent) and furniture (10 percent) are the product categories with the highest growth potential. Simple designs (43 percent), trendy designs (41 percent) and multi-function products (30 percent) were viewed as the most outstanding product styles this year.
This year’s Houseware Fair continued to adopt the central theme of “LIFE,” representing “Lifestyle,” “Interior,” “Feast,” and “Enrich,” with product zones categorized accordingly to facilitate sourcing. The HKTDC also collaborated with international trend forecasting authority WGSN to set up the Trend Forecast Display and host a trend seminar to update industry professionals on the latest houseware design trends.
As technology becomes further integrated into daily living, many exhibitors showcased smart home products that cater for this growing trend. At the Houseware Fair, Mainland Chinese exhibitor Shantou Leqishi Plastic Products Co. featured its KIGI Food Storage Container. The container can be used together with the KIGI app to allow the user to check the condition of the stored food and even obtain recipe suggestions. The product attracted potential distributors from the US and the United Kingdom.
This year’s Home Textiles Fair featured quality home textiles presented by three of India’s largest chambers of commerce for the textiles industry—the Handloom Export Promotion Council, the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts and the Carpet Export Promotion Council—along with the county of Pujiang and the town of Zhouquan from Zhejiang province in the mainland, which joined the fair for the first time.
Sourcing activity at the fairground was brisk.
“Apart from looking for new suppliers, I am taking this good opportunity to learn more about global houseware trends,” says Eric Ni, deputy general manager of the Shanghai Dragon Corp. “I am very interested in the carpets of an Indian supplier and the silkworm quilts and silk bedding sets supplied by a Mainland Chinese exhibitor. I plan to buy products worth Rmb 800,000 from the mainland exhibitor.”
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. For more info, visit www.hktdc.com/aboutus.