The apparel industry of Hong Kong is the third largest employer in the country. There are more than 1000 garment manufacturing units which hire more than 10,000 individuals. Along with being one of the leading garment production hubs in the world, Hong Kong is also a huge sourcing centre for apparels globally. The manufacturers' are experts in the field of fabric sourcing, sales, quality control, designing, and logistics management. The country is mainly known for the export of its woven garments.
Hong Kong's apparel export for the year 2012 was US $ 4, 29,907.4 million, which was 8.2% less than the amount of export done in the previous year. This is because markets like US, EU, and Japan have been considering the options of sourcing from developing countries like India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Increase in the cost of labor and strict rules and environment regulations have also led to the decrease in the amount of export.
Garment companies in Hong Kong are known for their Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) production. The suppliers from the country have the knowledge and skill to deliver quality clothing products at the right time for buyers to meet their requirements of the supply chain. Moreover, manufacturing units in Hong Kong are relocating their production of low-end and mass apparel articles to Southeast Asian countries. The mainland manufacturing now concentrates on making of high-end and sophisticated apparel products.
Hence it can be witnessed that Hong Kong's role as a manufacturer is slowly moving towards servicing and sourcing in the apparel industry. Being a global sourcing hub, Hong Kong invites the attention of many big retailers, apparel trading houses, as well as designers. American and European apparel retailers like Macy's, J.C. Penny, C&A, and Federated; discount stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and Carrefour; specialty stores like The Gap and The Limited, all source buyers from Hong Kong. High end designer brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and DKNY also source garments from the country. There are also a few local manufacturers who have ventured into the business of apparel retailing in the domestic as well as international markets.
Indigenous fashion designers of the country are steadily receiving appreciation for their artful work, skills to identify recent trends, and potential to amalgamate creativity and innovation. Fashion garments as a work of such designers are now available in high-end stores like Neiman-Marcus, Bloomingdale's, and Harrods to name a few all over the world.
Manufacturers and suppliers in Hong Kong have reach out to connect to buyers around the world by participating in various trade fairs and sourcing exhibits. The country also hosts sourcing events inviting buyers from all parts of the globe to participate.
Besides being a vital exporter of apparel products, Hong Kong also imports a lot of readymade garments from countries like China, Italy, France, Japan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India. The country imports more knitted garments than woven from the above mentioned countries.
Moreover, Hong Kong has a huge market for diverse apparel products. The online shopping scene is extremely active with social media marketing and mobile retailing increasing at a fast rate. According to China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) 60 percent of the online shoppers in the year of 2012 have bought apparel and garment products. Many online shopping sites like Tmall.com and VANCL.com provide shopping facilities of virtual trial rooms, video shopping, and using mobile snapshots for shopping.
The country is home to many private labels and plays a huge role in bringing western designer brands to the rest of the mainland and cities of China. Since Hong Kong is a nation with perfect blend of east meets west, which helps achieve better business connections, it can help clients with inventory management and reduce production costs. Hong Kong is also emerging to be an ideal sourcing and servicing place for apparel because of expert designs and innovative products, effective lab testing standards, quality management, and an established legal system.
With fashion brands like Prada and Coach being listed with Hong Kong Stock Exchange, this place also has the potential to become the next fashion financing capital. The free market economy, increasing integration with China in terms of trade and finance, and highly dependent international trade has resulted into making the territory, a growing market for sourcing and exporting apparel.
Hence it can be concluded that professional know-how, innovative skills, and supportive government measures have made Hong Kong along with a key apparel manufacturing destination, an important end for sourcing garments too. The sprawling market of the country includes wide categories of apparel from children wear to menswear, from silver market to plus-size clothing, from affordable to customized luxury clothing, from functional clothing to eco-friendly wear it encompasses a an array of different products to serve the purpose of apparel buyers from the whole wide world.