suppliers exported 3.6 billion pairs of slippers
worth US$5.14 billion in 2004. Export sales grew a
robust 22 percent and are expected to grow further
in coming months as demand from the key export
markets continues to rise steadily.
The United States, Japan, United Arab Emirates
and Russia are the top export destinations for
China-made slippers. Together, these countries
imported US$2.5 billion worth of slippers in 2004,
accounting for nearly 50 percent of China's total
exports of the product.
Regionally, North America is the largest market,
absorbing 33 percent of total exports, followed by
the European Union at 17 percent and Asia with 16
Slipper makers in China are beset with a number
of challenges, led by the higher cost of key
components and materials. Suppliers in the coastal
provinces also continue to face electricity and
labor shortages, further pushing up overhead costs.
But even with higher production and operating
costs, many companies did not raise prices in 2004,
opting to absorb the additional expenses to remain
are some of the key trends we see in China's
slippers export industry:
|A large number of slipper
suppliers will raise prices in coming months
in response to higher raw material costs,
and the labor and power shortage.
|Competition in the low-end
is pushing many companies to shift their
production focus to the midrange and
high-end. This will make them more
competitive and at the same time increase
their profit margins.
|Many of those companies
that will not raise prices and will continue
producing low-end slippers are likely to use
lower-quality material to cut costs.
|Some companies will also be
producing more leather slippers in response
to higher demand from the EU. But even with
growing demand from the EU, the US will
remain the country's top export market for
|Many suppliers are
increasing their R&D focus on developing new
designs. However, making slippers more
comfortable is the main focus at most
product development teams in China.
|The eastern province of
Jiangxi is emerging as a major hub for
slippers, especially for leather models,
which are priced at least 20 percent lower
than those made in Zhejiang.
China's 875 export makers offer rubber, plastic,
genuine/synthetic leather, fabric and
natural-material slippers. Almost all slipper
manufacturers specialize in just one or two types,
usually those that are made using similar machines
such as rubber and plastic, or leather and fabric
In this report, only a little over 10 percent of
featured suppliers produce all types of slippers and
the majority offer plastic and rubber as their main
lines. The Products & Prices section in this report
discusses the main features of each type of slipper
and their price ranges. It also explains the
differences among low-end, midrange and high-end
models in each product category.
And more... To see the full Executive Summary