- Fairs help exhibitors develop retail business
- E-tailing brings new business opportunities
The 40th HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and the ninth Salon de TE, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd, drew to a successful conclusion today. This year, the twin fairs at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre not only welcomed industry buyers but also opened their doors to the general public during the whole fair period for the first time. The five-day physical fairs attracted around 4,900 industry buyers and more than 23,600 public visitors to shop for timepieces.
This year, online version of the watch fairs was launched for the first time and will run until 19 September. To date, more than 1,100 online business meetings have been arranged, enabling global watch and clock traders to engage in business discussions via video conferencing. As of 12 September, the online fairs had recorded more than 2,400 buyers browsing products and conducting business discussions online.
Fairs help exhibitors promote their brands and develop retail business
Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC, said: “The Watch & Clock Fair and Salon de TE returned as special editions this year to help generate business opportunities for industry players. Opening the five-day fairs to the public for the first time also provided an excellent opportunity for watch and clock traders to reach out to retail customers and boost the industry’s retail businesses. According to our on-site survey, public visitors who were interviewed spent an average of HK$1,059 per person at the fairs.”
Many exhibitors agreed that the fairs had helped them tap into the retail market. Philip Lau, General Manager of Chit Tat Clock and Watch Company Limited, said he had met with five buyers from European and US buying offices in Hong Kong. His company offered wholesale prices to attract local consumers and received a better-than-expected response. “These consumers have high purchasing power and strong confidence in the quality of our watches. We estimate that our sales turnover at the fair will be around HK$200,000-300,000,” Mr Lau said.
Another exhibitor, Gary Ching, Co-founder of ANPASSA Watch Company, said that within just a few hours of the opening of the fairs, two watch retailers had expressed interest in ANPASSA’s watches and started discussing cooperation. “We also attracted the attention of many local consumers. We expect our on-site sales to reach HK$500,000-600,000, which demonstrates that our watches have great potential in the local market.”
Online trading builds business opportunities; smart watches grow in popularity
To gauge various trends in the watch and clock industry in 2022, the HKTDC conducted an on-site survey during the fairs, interviewing more than 540 exhibitors and buyers. The survey showed that the majority of respondents considered the recovering purchasing power of customers (42%) and e-tailing (35%) as presenting the biggest opportunities for their businesses. Additionally, 41% of the exhibitors surveyed said they were already engaged in e-tailing, while 47% said they intend to develop an e-tailing business in the next two years to capture more orders.
In addition, 50% of interviewed respondents were positive on the industry outlook and expected their overall sales to increase. In terms of different markets, 68% of respondents viewed the Mainland China market most favourably, followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region (49%) and India (46%).
As for product trends, smart watches (50%) were expected to be the most popular watch category in 2022, followed by mechanical watches (16%), and digital analogue watches (12%).
The fairs attracted smart watch manufacturers to source for parts and components. Ricky Tsang, Managing Director of Eternal Keen Investment Limited, said his company specialises in the production of smart wearables, including smart watches. “I have found three potential suppliers at the fair. The value of my annual purchases of parts and components is US$20 million, and I plan to purchase parts and components worth US$1 million from new suppliers I met at the fair,” Mr Tsang said.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.