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Hardware, Gardening & DIY Products(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 03,2006)

Building Business

Photo
JCL Holdings Ltd's small garden tools come conveniently and attractively packaged in bags for easy carrying by DIY enthusiasts
There is a category of goods that continues year after year to form a highly profitable business sector for Hong Kong manufacturers and international buyers alike. The range of hardware, gardening and DIY products is as broad as it is varied, and comprises anything and everything required for the home and garden and the dedicated DIY enthusiast.

One major player in this league is JCL Holdings Ltd, a 10-year veteran supplier of pre-packaged garden tools available in plastic bags, boxes or as handy sets. "While we do offer a range of separately packaged secateurs," says director Joey Lau, "our main business is in sets of small tools arranged according to customers' requirements."

Most tools from JCL are fashioned from metal and sport wood or plastic handles. There is also plastic-coated gardening wire on plastic reels and handy, wall hanging tool holders that will be welcomed by one and all.

"We target the mid-range market with FOB Hong Kong prices varying from US$2-20 per set," says Lau. "We can also produce larger sets with more tools if required, including such items as an adjustable spray, a shower spray and hose connectors in brass or aluminium or heavy duty versions. We also produce a rubber kneeling mat for use in the garden."

JCL sources its products from various approved mainland factories. "We do this from our offices in Xiamen," explains Lau. "In this way, we can obtain the best prices for our customers and also fend off the competition."

In the main, JCL exports to the US and Europe. The minimum order size is 2,000 sets and standard delivery time is 35 days after order confirmation.

For another highly interesting array of goods, Kam Lee Metal & Plastic Fty Ltd specialises in such oddities as a hummingbird feeder-house, a solar-powered garden lamp, various rain gauges and garden thermometers.

Executive manager Iris Leung says the firm was founded in 1978 as a traditional plastic and metal manufacturer. "However, we expanded into stationery lines in the 1980s, and plastic and metal sundries in the 1990s. Today, we provide a wide range of products for our clients and maintain our customer base with some 30 new products coming onto market each year."

Currently offering 1,500 items, Kam Lee nonetheless pays very close attention to quality and packaging. "Our staff are well-trained and have a good knowledge of materials and strong relationships with suppliers to maintain the prices of raw materials," Leung says.

New products coming to market in the immediate future include the Sun Power solar garden light and thermometer, an outdoor 2-in-1 water-resistant wall lamp, a 12-station hummingbird feeder, an outdoor thermometer and rain gauge, an outdoor metal thermometer, and a deluxe bird feeder house also available in ceramic.

Production takes place at a 130,000-square-foot, 1,000-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, mostly using ABS and PP sourced from Japan and Taiwan. The minimum order size is 6,000 pieces for delivery 30 days after order confirmation. The company's Kli, Klmp and Ckl brand names are available, as are customers' logos. Major markets are Europe, the US, Japan and South Africa.

Meanwhile, Lee's Group Holdings Co Ltd has been supplying home improvement products since 1959. The firm's products fall into several clearly defined categories: door and window hardware, furniture and cabinet hardware, and security and safety hardware.

"We manufacture almost exclusively in metal, mostly nickel alloy, and today have more than 300 items in our product range," says sales and marketing manager Herman Lau.

"Our competitive advantage is the fact that we can provide a full range of product whereas many of our competitors tend to specialise in just a few items. We can offer customers everything from door hinges to padlocks and cabinet handles to knobs, and they can get just about anything else they may need," Lau says.

The US is the Lee's Group's major market, and production takes place at the firm's 600-worker factory in Guangzhou on the mainland. "We seek out volume-order business and require a minimum order value of US$10,000 for delivery 30-45 days after confirmation," says Lau.

On the other hand, 1999-established Eternal Dragon Int'l Ltd designs and manufactures zinc alloy furniture handles and knobs, bathroom accessories and photo frames among other metal products.

"We make furniture and DIY-related hardware," says manager Vicky Wong. "We mostly fabricate using zinc alloy and are now testing a new line of bathroom accessories comprising adjustable towel rails, soap holders, cup holders." She says the firm is still assessing customer feedback on these items.

"Competition from the Chinese mainland is severe," adds Wong, "and so we target the medium- to high-end of the market with our bathroom accessory lines. We do well with our main line of handles and knobs, though."

Production is handled by 300 workers at a 5,000-square-foot factory in Hui Yang, near Shenzhen on the mainland, using zinc alloy from Australia. The minimum order is 1,000 pieces per item per colour, and delivery time is 30-35 days. Major markets are the US, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Proving that whether getting to grips with home improvements or simply tidying up the garden, Hong Kong has all the tools and accessories the dedicated hardware, gardening and DIY enthusiast needs.

WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON

CONTACT DETAILS

Eternal Dragon Int'l Ltd
Unit 2, 21/F, Blk B
New Trade Plaza
6 On Ping St
Sha Tin, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2410-0556
Fax: 852-2424-4223
Email:
info@edi.com.hk
Web: www.edi.com.hk

JCL Holdings Ltd
Unit G, 14/F
World Tech Centre
95 How Ming St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2304-1738
Fax: 852-2763-9595
Email:
info@jclfe.com
Web: www.jclfe.com

Kam Lee Metal & Plastic Fty Ltd
9-12/F
Wah Tai Ind Bldg
11 San On St
Tuen Mun, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2461-6329
Fax: 852-2456-2520
Email:
kamlee@kamlee.com.hk
Web: www.kamlee.com.hk

Lee's Group Holdings Co Ltd
6/F, Blk A
Kwai Fung Ind Bldg
9-15 Kwai Cheong Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2413-4386
Fax: 852-2415-2235
Email:
info@lgh.hk
Web: www.lgh.hk

Standard Instruments Co Ltd
Rm 606
Lemmi Centre
50 Hoi Yuen Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2389-1765
Fax: 852-2389-3804
Email:
stinst@netvigator.com
Web: www.standardinst.com

Xiang Way Enterprises Ltd
8/F, Flat D
Central House
270-6 Queen's Rd Central
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2850-5683
Fax: 852-2543-2026
Email:
xiangway@netvigator.com
Web: www.xiangway.com