Author: Derek Miller, Vice President, International, IHA
If you’re like me and engaged in the international part of the housewares industry, and really, who’s not these days, you might have traveled to or are planning a trip to Hong Kong in the coming months. So what’s new and exciting?
Hong Kong Convention Center – The remodeling construction is finally over with the total amount of exhibition space being expanded by 19,400 m2 (209,000 ft2) to 83,000 m2 (893,000 ft2). The Hall names have also changed, with Hall 2 becoming Hall 3 and Hall 3 becoming Hall 5. Confused, don’t be, because when you’re onsite, these changes make perfect sense. Seven updated and new restaurants and cafes make also for a nice improvement.
Retailers – If you’re on the sales side, be sure to take a look at retailers City Super and Pantry Magic – both sell housewares, but each has a different feel and philosophy.
City Super is an upscale gourmet store with grocery, bakery, housewares and novelty sections. They have four locations in Hong Kong (and two in Taiwan and one in Shanghai) and are a hot-spot for ex-pats or anyone looking for imported products. Purchasing is done in Hong Kong, but orders are consolidated in California, making selling to the retailer ideal for U.S. based product suppliers and housewares manufacturers. www.citysuper.com.hk
Pantry Magic, owned and operated by U.S. native and former chef Robert Esser, is a gourmet specialty kitchen store with one location in Hong Kong and franchise locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Singapore and Auckland to name a few. Check out their website for a complete listing of locations – www.pantry-magic.com. One notable accomplishment – Pantry Magic was selected as the region’s Global Innovator Award (gia) winner by Retail Asia and IHA in 2009. Purchasing for the entire Pantry Magic group is done in Hong Kong with orders ideally being delivered directly from Asian factories.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner – If you’re looking for a great place to have a quick bite of really wholesome food, you have to visit Café O. All-day breakfasts include fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies (Mango Mania!), yogurts, eggs and breakfast sandwiches. Lunch and dinner entrées include everything from soups & salads, to flatbread pizza & calzones to sandwiches & pasta. The fresh ingredients made by people who love what they do yield healthy and tasty meals. The closest Café O to the Hong Kong Convention Center is within walking distance in Wan Chai on Luard Road. Visit www.cafeo.hk for more info including locations, menu and hours.