The maker is launching duffels and suitcases made
Shanghai Willy Import and Export Co. Ltd is upgrading designs of bags and travel goods to weigh less while maintaining strength and utility. The supplier also intends to expand its selection of various types of carriers.
In an interview with Global Sources, general manager Ni Dongbing divulges the company's plans for the next couple of years.
What kinds of new products will you launch in the next six months?
We are working to reduce the weight of bags and luggage. Our new series of bags and luggage is extremely light but does not compromise function or durability.
The load can be cut down in two ways. One is to use magnesium alloy for the metal trimmings. The material is not only stronger but also lighter than most types of metal. The other method is to apply special treatments on the fabric. We are using both strategies for upcoming releases.
What is the outlook of the industry and your company for 2011?
This year is quite challenging. We hope that we will not suffer from any decreases, and expect our annual output and exports to stay at a similar level as 2010.
We are making strategic changes this year. One of our plans is to extend our product range to cover more bag categories, such as totes, backpacks, duffels, cosmetics cases, and beach, cooler, school, sleeping and shopping bags.
Are there any other projects or new markets?
We are currently exploring the domestic market aggressively, to cater to the increasing local demand. We also intend to switch our focus from OEM sales to our in-house brand. Moreover, we are searching for other investment opportunities apart from the manufacture and export of bags and luggage. We expect these changes to be completed within the next two years.
Have your exports increased in the past few years?
We have been enduring the global economic slowdown smoothly. Our annual growth rate averages 30 percent for the past few years. The continuous progress is attributed to our honesty in cooperation with buyers and the stability and quality of services.
Describe your R&D capability.
At the headquarters, we have two experienced designers. In addition, we have more than 10 designers who are working at the factory and are familiar with frontline fabrication processes. We now have more than 1,000 models available, and we release three to five new series every month.
What are your other competitive advantages?
We have more than 30 QC inspectors who are responsible for monitoring each stage of production. We are one of the few exporters who offer a one-year quality assurance to our clients. Moreover, our standard sampling time is within seven days, compared to the general industry practice of 10 to 15 days.
About the company
Established in 1999, Shanghai Willy exports bags and luggage mainly to the US and the EU. Samsonite, Diesel, Carrefour and Auchan are among the major clients.
Products include totes, backpacks, suitcases, and beach and handbags. Monthly overseas shipments average $1 million in value and are mostly OEM orders. The factory is in Jiangsu province, while the sales office handling all export issues is located in Shanghai.