11 Dec 2014
Wuhan Consumers Wowed by Healthy, Eco-Friendly Hong Kong Style
When the Style Hong Kong Show arrived in Wuhan it proved one of the most popular outings for this touring showcase of the very finest items the city has to offer, with many items selling out well before the closing days of the event.
The Wuhan incarnation of the Style Hong Kong Show took place in a highly accessible commercial complex on a shopping mall-lined street. Predictably, it was packed and, while experienced visitors "window shopped" in anticipation of the closing sale, others couldn't wait, with many of the exhibitors running out of stock well before the last day of the show.
Ms Yuan, one visitor to the mid-November show, said she hoped the event would return to Wuhan often. Clearly impressed with the huge variety of products on offer, she said it had taken her two days to take it all in. During the event, she had snapped up several pairs of shoes and a multi-function stove, one that she called her "dream appliance."
Indeed, overall, household products with multiple functions were exceedingly popular. The Primada Rotatable Convection Roaster from iPlus Home, for example, boasted a patented rotatable function, together with a number of smart and convenient features allowing it to roast chicken, grill and make fries. It also has several optional functions depending on user needs. Detachable for easy cleaning, its cover is made of a polycarbonate material capable of withstanding high temperatures, with the whole unit fully complying with the United States' FDA food standards. Heat insulated and crack-proof, the cooker even allows for oil-free frying. Such features inevitably have huge appeal to the more health conscious consumers.
The roaster was on sale for Rmb1,388 and was subsequently discounted further to Rmb1,200. This compares with a cost price of HK$2,688 (Rmb2,128). Understandably, it sold out quickly, although orders were accepted at the reduced price.
iPlus Home is a specialty store founded by Pro Logic International Limited, in 2011. Its major products include convection ovens, slow juicers and PVA mops. The roaster quickly sold out, obliging the exhibitor to switch its focus to its clip-and-click PVA mops. Thankfully, these were also well received.
Household products with healthcare or eco-friendly functions were particularly in demand at the show. Several of them – notably Welhome's electric cookers and skillets, San Dynamic's San'Dy domestic water purifier and Tai Wo Company's AC Wok (said to be free of toxic chemical coating) sold out quickly. During the final two days of the show, shoppers could only place orders for many such items, with all stocks entirely cleared out.
There were also prominent displays of insecticides, disinfectant sprays and similar products. Related advertising slogans – the "Germ-free Space" for DDY Group's air purifiers and Liko's "Nano Clean" for its non-electric noiseless dust mops – were everywhere. This reflected mainland consumers' growing concerns about improving their personal environment. Fully aware of this, many Hong Kong exhibitors highlighted the environmental features of their own products. This proved a highly successful marketing strategy, with many such products selling out fast.
Products with healthcare functions were also highly sought after. There was, for instance, huge demand for Focus massage chairs, Kosmax health pillows, functional waist cushions, Japanese-style sofas and lazy boys. Mattress toppers and cushions that provide support and provide relief for both muscles and bones also drew keen interest – with some visitors even taking advantage of the display items to try them out.
The success of the Wuhan show meant that many exhibitors were more than happy. According to an on-site survey, 42% of exhibitors polled said they were satisfied with sales, 10% were highly satisfied, and 40% described sales as reasonable. A whopping 94% felt the show achieved the objective of brand promotion, while 50% thought it helped promote retail sales and corporate image.
Visitors, too, generally felt the show showcased a wide range of innovative Hong Kong products and brands, many of which offered outstanding functions and high quality at a reasonable price. About 51% of visitors said they spent more than Rmb500 on purchasing Hong Kong products at the show. Meanwhile, 11% of respondents made purchases worth Rmb1,000 or more. The most in demand items at the show included food, household products and clothing. Tellingly, of the 1,000 attendees interviewed, 83% were aged between 21 and 50.
Sales at this particular Style Hong Kong Show out-performed many previous shows held in Central China, a sign perhaps of the economic strength of Wuhan. According to the Wuhan Commerce Bureau, the city has a population of 10 million, and the annual disposable income per capita is around Rmb36,000. In 2013, the total sale of consumer goods locally amounted to Rmb387.8 billion. Among the 15 sub-provincial cities of China, excluding the four municipalities, Wuhan ranks third in economic performance, trailing only Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Cheung Kit Fung, Senior Editor of Research Department