I'm looking to start exporting beds (mattresses and bases), including contract beds for hotels, to China and need help finding buyers - can anyone offer any advice?

Question posted by Michael Roberts, on behalf of Purelybeds in SE26

We manufacture high quality beds and mattresses, including all natural (wool, silk), pocket spring and memory foam. We are already selling these successfully in Europe and would now like to expand into Asia. We also make superior contract beds for hotels which we have sold successfully to 4 & 5 * hotel groups in the UK.

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Jonathan Harrison, on behalf of Baroni Limited in CR2.

We have partners in China who would be able to get you in to China. Please let me know if you are interested.

Otherwise there are some free services offered by the EU and UKTI.

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David Clarke, on behalf of Today Translations in Ec2.

Michael,
We work closely with clients who have cracked the Far East market. The recurring key themes are 1. Getting the marketing and negotiation strategy right from the outset 2. Going in at the right level - with introductions from individuals who are valued locally 3. Having the right marketing, promotional and sales material tailored to the market and 3. Really making the most of your USP (which as you know, your UK quality brand is a sought after component right now). The UKTI can help here. Don't forget the City of London Corporation have offices in China too. We are working on initiatives with the City to help SMEs in London. Their expertise has naturally focussed on financial services, their network is extensive. Commissioning a good marketing firm to help you is sensible but the ones with expertise and a track record outside Europe come at a premium but there are some smaller firms are out there with great talent. We help UK firms looking to export to maximise their local impact by developing the language and cultural aspects of their export strategy (check out the staggering stats in our Business Language Monitor report to see the languages that are rapidly growing online). It is surprising how many firms skip over this aspect and miss some quick and easy wins that cost very little. Conversely, it's great to see several companies striking gold when it comes to multi-lingual sales and marketing. We conducted some research for the Governement that illustrated this well and I'd be happy to share this and other success stories. Similarly, if you need anything from a letter to be translated to staging a major multi-lingual event we can project manage these in a hassle free and cost effective manner for you. I hope this is useful and I wish you every success in the new market - I'm a great fan as the two most important items in life are a good pair of shoes and a splendid bed - if you're not in one you’re in the other. David

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Michael,

Chinese factories already produce vast quantities of beds and mattresses. They are the main suppliers to hotel groups like Marriot and some Intercontinental hotels. Consequently you will have difficulty competing on price (especially once import duty is added). Our advice is that you promote your product as "luxury" beds and luxury mattresses . Chinese consumers are now the second largest consumers of luxury products in the world, the vast majority of which are foreign "brands". This will allow you to justify the price premium for your product.

We have a large online media operation in China and would be able to assist you if plan to do any online advertising.
Look at www.luxuryonlinemedia.com

regards
Lee

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Jonathan Harrison, on behalf of Baroni Limited in CR2.

Michael,

I would strongly agree with Lee regards branding as "luxury" items made in The UK. You can rather than compete on a like for like price cut product, go in with a higher mark-up.

I suggest you need some market research here first to understand the market and entry levels, as well as a good sole searching as to who and what you are and what your objectives are. UKTI do a nice service round this, though there are many Business Consultants who can help you get to grips with it. We tend to do the whole bundle: Your market readiness, the market research and entry strategy and the delivery.

Best wishes
jonathan

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The China-Britain Business Council is the largest membership organisation helping British companies from all sectors do business in China. We have 10 offices in the UK and 13 in China, and deliver a range of services, including advice and consultancy, market research, event management, an overseas market introduction service, trade missions and exhibitions.

We would always advise businesses looking to do business with China for the first time to carry out some appropriate market research and vendor due diligence prior to entering the market for the first time. Carrying out research of this kind can assist with identifying opportunities and potential roadblocks to market identify appropriate agents in China and to screen-out any rogue companies.

The Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) is a UK-government supported scheme which allows British-registered companies to access information in overseas markets; this can range from basic intelligence, through researching potential partners, to setting up meetings and the like

For more information, please visit our website (www.cbbc.org) or contact us directly at enquiries@cbbc.org

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Timmy Lau, on behalf of UK Trade & Investment Hong Kong in Hong Kong.

Dear Lanu,

You may want to consider Hong Kong and Macao market as well. Wealthy individual, also hotels and resort in Macao could be your target customers.

UKTI Hong Kong page: www.ukti.gov.uk/pt_pt/export/countries/asiapacific/fareast/hongkongsar.html

Should you need any further assistance, please feel free to contact us in commercial@bcg.org.hk

UKTI Hong Kong

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Ryan Beck, on behalf of BF Projects Limited in BT3.

Hi Michael

My name is Ryan from BF Projects in Belfast, We are a family run freight forwarding company, I would be happy to help with Exporting your Bed's / Mattresses to China, We work closely with all major shipping lines to get the best competitive rates, Please contact me on the below and i will be happy to help

Ryan@bfprojects.co.uk

02890371144
07713170332

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We have some relevant information on the bedding sector to share if you have a brand which will migrate. We work in the mattress sector specifically as you will see from the experience of our team on our website and assist companies (overseas and local) reach the consumer for bedding in China.
fell free to contact me directly and I will share what we know and what works and what does not.
Regards
Jeremy
www.broadbrand.biz
jeremywaller@broadbrand.biz

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Dear Michael,

It might be worthwhile contacting the China British Business Council http://www.cbbc.org/ who assist UK companies to grow and develop their business with China. enquiries@cbbc.org

If you are looking more broadly at Asia, Singapore and the South East Asian markets could be a good place to start. We have many of the large international hotel chains as well as several boutique hotels and tourism is on the rise.

We are connected to other British Chambers in South East Asia so can provide you with the relevant contacts their. We also work closely with UK Trade and Investment to deliver services to UK companies exploring our markets.

You may also find it beneficial to join your local chamber of commerce.

Regards

Jennifer

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Bryony Porcas, on behalf of Flo-FX in E1.

Michael,

We are able to beat corporate bank rates on foreign currency exchange. Due to the fact we are a trading name of Ebury Partners (whose turnover last year was in the region of £1bn), we have virtually no overheads and so can substantially undercut banks and competitors. We carry out all the necessary KYC checks in line with FCA regulations and maintain a fervent desire to ensure all our clients receive the fastest, most efficient service possible.

Please send me an email on b.porcas@flo-fx.com or visit our website at www.flo-fx.com for more information.

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