The 34th HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair and the 10th HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair, both organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), drew to a successful close recently. Over a four-day period (20-23 April), the two fairs welcomed close to 47,000 buyers from 121 countries and regions. A satisfactory increase in buyer turnout was recorded from several markets, including Mainland China, Macao, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey and Brazil. More than 28,000 buyers attended the Houseware Fair, while close to 19,000 buyers visited the Home Textiles Fair.

Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “Smart homes are becoming an integral part of urban living, so we are pleased to see more exhibitors developing and introducing smart home products to drive sourcing demand. In addition, the HKTDC continued to work with ASEAN countries to invite their manufacturers

and buyers to participate this year’s fairs. At the Houseware Fair, the Best of ASEAN zone showcased some outstanding products from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.”

Survey shows industry players cautiously optimistic about market prospects

To gauge the industry’s views on market prospects, product trends and the current hot issues, the HKTDC commissioned an independent on-site survey during the Houseware Fair in which a total of 535 buyers and exhibitors were interviewed. Despite the current economic uncertainty, 53 per cent of respondents expected the ongoing Sino-US trade friction to have no impact on the sector’s export performance over the next six months, while 60 per cent believed BREXIT will have no impact over the same period. The survey also found industry players to be cautiously optimistic about market prospects, with 37 per cent of respondents anticipating overall sales to grow and 51 per cent expecting sales to remain steady in 2019.

Respondents were also asked for their views on the growth prospects for the industry’s major sales markets. The survey revealed that Japan (67 per cent), Taiwan (66 per cent) and Hong Kong (65 per cent) are the three most promising traditional markets, while Mainland China (70 per cent) and ASEAN countries (67 per cent) are the two emerging markets with the strongest growth prospects.

Asked about different product categories, respondents said that eco-friendly products (16 per cent), kitchenware and gadgets (15 per cent) and furniture (10 per cent) are the product categories with the highest growth potential. Simple

designs (43 per cent), trendy designs (41 per cent) and multifunction products (30 per cent) were viewed as the most outstanding product styles this year.

“L.I.F.E” theme well received; growing trend for smart home products

This year’s Houseware Fair continued to adopt the central theme of “L.I.F.E”, representing “Lifestyle”, “Interior”, “Feast” and “Enrich”, with product zones categorised accordingly to facilitate sourcing. The HKTDC also collaborated with international trend forecasting authority WGSN to set up the Trend Forecast Display and host a trend seminar to update industry professionals on the latest houseware design trends.