32nd HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair Attracts 7 Percent More Buyers

September 15, 2013

The 32nd HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, held Sept. 4-8 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, attracted nearly 19,000 buyers, up 7 percent, compared with the previous year.

Buyer growth came from a number of countries, including the Philippines (up 46 percent), the Chinese mainland (up 25 percent), Brazil (up 18 percent), Australia (up 16 percent) and Indonesia (up 13 percent).

The five-day fair, billed by Hong Kong Trade Development Council, as “the largest show of its kind in the world”, drew more than 750 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions. The fair was organized by HKTDC, the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd.

"Today's consumers are particularly discerning about watch brands," said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau.

He added, "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.

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

The majority of buyers and exhibitors surveyed were optimistic. Some 83 percent of the buyers and 77 percent of the exhibitors said they expect sales to increase or remain unchanged in 2014.

About 74 percent of the exhibitors and 63 percent of the buyers said they believe that production and sourcing costs will rise because of higher costs for labour and raw materials.

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 percent 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.

In addition, the survey 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 percent 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.

Fair exhibitor Acestar Concept, based in Hong Kong, said they were pleased with the 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."

Indonesian buyer Michael Lakat, group merchandising Mmanager of PT Tozy Sentosa, said he was looking for women's watches at the fair. "The scale is impressive,” he added. “The business-matching services also helped us meet quality suppliers."

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