VERSATILE DESIGNS IN VOGUE IN ASIA
Tico Jewelry reports robust demand for its fashionable steel and titanium jewellery among its Asian customers. To further lift sales, the company plans to introduce more high-quality, unique designs in 2003.
Specialising in the manufacture of steel and titanium jewellery, Tico offers an array of designs in different price ranges. According to Bernard Ning, general manager, demand mainly polarizes into pieces in plain materials wholesaling between US$15 and US$30 and complicated designs featuring 18-karat gold or set with diamonds in 2-5 points sold at over US$100 at wholesale.
While volume purchases are mainly of the basic items, the company is seeing increasing demand for designs composed of various components. With two individual rings combining to form a special design, its ˇ§signatureˇ¨ series has been receiving satisfactory feedback since its launch (See JNA, November 2002, page 36).
The positive response to the versatile designs has prompted Tico to offer more new items employing the same design concept. Pieces with interchangeable components to give more variety of styles will be some of the new highlights, Mr. Ning said. ˇ§ Wearers of steel and titanium jewellery are usually young consumers who are dynamic and are looking for special things. Hence the composable design gives then design flexibility.ˇ¨
The company is currently developing the markets in the United States and Asia. Mr Ning said that since more customers have already recognized these metals as new options for jewellery, demand from the markets is increasing. It has a team of sales representatives in the US to handle orders. To introduce its designs to more customers Tico plans to exhibit at major trade shows in the United States in 2003.
Sales to Southeast Asia are starting to pick up too. ˇ§ Some Asian customers have no knowledge of these metals, and we need to introduce and explain the idea to them. Although not all or them accept the concept immediately, some of them have placed trail orders to test the market. Feedback from Taiwan and South Korea has been upbeat; customers have showed keen interest in these new metals,ˇ¨ he said.
As some designs involve complicated structures requiring a high degree of workmanship the company has manufacturing facilities in Hong Kong and China to ensure consistent product quality. To give customers the option of trying either steel or titanium jewellery, Tico offers the same material costs for these two metals. ˇ§So far titanium pieces are preferred due to its range of metallic colours and lightness,ˇ¨ Mr. Ning said.
: Jewellery News Asia, January 2003, page 81 to 82