Emerging Markets See Good Growth and High-end Brands Tipped to be Top Sellers
HONG KONG — The 25th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong Optical Fair closed today. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and co-organised by the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association, the three-day fair (8-10 November) attracted a record of more than 16,000 buyers from 103 countries and regions, up seven per cent over the previous year. The number of buyers from numerous emerging markets rose significantly, including the Chinese mainland, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Sizable growth in buyers was also recorded from mature markets, such as Singapore, Taiwan, France, the UK and Canada, the number of buyers from Hong Kong also grew.
Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC, said the results highlight the Optical Fair’s role as a major promotion and sourcing platform for the international eyewear industry. With a record-setting 800 exhibitors, the fair’s growing number of buyers also showed that the worldwide eyewear industry is thriving, said Mr Chau. “The global demand for eyewear products continues to climb. For industry professionals, the international Optical Fair remains a major promotion and sourcing platform. The fair showcased a broad spectrum of products and many exhibitors displayed their new and high-end eyewear designs to cater to strong market demand. There was a vibrant trading atmosphere on the fairground.”
Improving Chinese mainland market, E-tailing to become a trend
Industry professionals and experts were invited to a series of seminars at the fair to examine the latest market trends and product styles. According to Euromonitor International, global eyewear sales will reach nearly HK$1 trillion this year, and retail sales of eyewear in the Chinese mainland rose about six per cent last year.
Representatives from the renowned German research institute GfK spoke at a seminar saying that the Chinese mainland consumption market is booming and that retail sales of eyewear products are performing well. With a strong appetite for luxury brands, mainland consumers are seeking stylish brands. The speakers anticipated that e-tailing will be a main retail sales driver. “We foresee that by 2020, around 40 per cent of consumers in the United States, Europe, and the four BRIC regions will be digital consumers,” said Gianni Cossar, Global Director Optics & Eyewear of GfK. Another highlight of the fair was the 15th Hong Kong Optometric Conference. Under the theme “Neuro Vision Rehabilitation,” two sessions of the conference attracted over 1,000 attendees.
High-end branded eyewear in demand
This year’s Brand Name Gallery featured 225 top international brands and designer collections. Hong Kong exhibitor Kingvisions Ltd has been exhibiting at the fair for five consecutive years. Ivan Chan, the company’s General Manager, said the company made more than 120 new contacts during the fair, including a major Hong Kong optical chain store, which wanted to become an exclusive agent for the Korean brand Fixxative and Hong Kong brand Percy Lau. Several retailers from the Chinese mainland, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand also placed onsite orders for more than 1,000 pieces.
Buyer successfully found OEM suppliers to launch own brand
French company, Light Optical, which operates six eyewear stores in France, selling branded frames, contact lenses and sunglasses, plans to launch its own brand next September. Visiting the fair for the first time, Benjamin Zeitoun, Director General of the company said he came to find OEM manufacturers and new ideas. He met exhibitors from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and France, and planned to buy about 15,000 pieces.
With the rapid development of mobile technology, e-Badge was launched at this year’s Optical Fair for the first time. Buyers could retrieve their e-Badges by downloading the “HKTDC Marketplace” mobile App and completing the visitor registration. With the help of the e-Badge, visitors can get exhibitors and fair information, which provides convenience and improves the all-rounded fair experience. It also helps the environment. The Optical Fair was held concurrently (9-11 November) with the HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, to attract more global buyers to Hong Kong and generate more business opportunities for exhibitors.
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Fair Website: hkopticalfair.hktdc.com
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