Engaging in sales business in North America and Mainland China

Leung Wai Ho’s failure to make a mark with North American watch buyers. With the issue of the UK’s 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China still to be resolved, 1983 was a year of political instability for the Territory. Leung Wai Ho’s family emigrated to Montreal in Canada in 1984. As Montreal was close to New York, it was a convenient base from which to contact Dailywin’s US customers. The fact that the city was located in Canada’s French-speaking zone also helped Leung Wai Ho’s children learn French. Leung Wai Ho bought the SAGA brand in Canada and given it a Chinese name. From 1986, he focused on promoting the brand’s sales in Canada. As he could not oversee the business on the spot and North America’s vast population and landmass made advertising and marketing very expensive, the venture eventually came to an end. Leung Wai Ho retained his faith that Hong Kong was the ideal place for developing a retail business. Learning from his failure in North America, Dailywin began expanding its retail operations in mainland China with effect from 1992 onwards.

Developing China retailing on a consignment basis. In 1992, Leung Wai Ho accompanied a party from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to the mainland to promote retailing. While there, he secured sales space in Guangzhou’s Nan Fang Building which had roughly the same status as Hong Kong’s Shui Hing and Sincere department stores. Leung Wai Ho subsequently rented a shop in Guangzhou’s Shangxiajiu Road, opening a flagship store to promote SAGA watches. Having many years of production and sales experience, believing there was a huge potential market in China, and serving as Vice President of the CHA, Leung Wai Ho had every confidence he would be successful in applying for his sales quotas. As a result, he worked hard to promote his mainland retailing activities.

Dailywin’s 1995 listing on the London stock market. Dailywin spent a full year trying to raise funds to develop its domestic sales in China and listed itself on the London Stock Exchange in 1995. It subsequently used all funds raised to expand the Dongguan factory operation. In those days, the UK market had a lower listing threshold, while the Hong Kong Stock Exchange did not welcome small companies capable of earning less than $50,000,000 within three years.

Dailywin began mainland retailing. Dailywin’s China domestic sales team began by focusing on consignments to shopping malls with all selling conducted through wholesalers. As Leung Wai Ho was not familiar with the mainland market and lacked experience in retailing, wholesalers often took the goods and defaulted on payment. This cost him considerably in terms of both goods and money. Between 1994 and the end of 1996, Leung Wai Ho lost a total of $50,000,000 in this way. After this failure, Dailywin was listed in Hong Kong in 1997 to raise funds for a comeback. From 1997 onwards, Leung Wai Ho directly managed the company’s mainland retail stores, using a “shop-in-shop” mode to open 25 shops in big cities across China. Leung Wai Ho was well aware that as a manufacturer he lacked retailing experience, and therefore hired full-time sales managers to run the shops. One of the managers he employed had previously worked in Giordano. Leung Wai Ho rented spaces of 20 to 40 square metres in each large shopping mall. He also co-operated with foreign brands such as Timex, Casio, Disney, Elle and Esprit to market lifestyle watch brands. Labelled Time Zones, these retail corners collected and analysed sales information on a daily basis. Leung Wai Ho admitted that the Guangzhou flagship store was not suitable for selling brand watches and that he had chosen the wrong location.

Company Daily Win Watch Products Mfg. Ltd.
Subject Industry
Duration 19m52s
Language Cantonese
Material Type
Source Hong Kong Memory Project Oral History Interview
Repository Hong Kong Memory Project
Note to Copyright Copyright owned by Hong Kong Memory Project
Accession No. LKF-LWH-SEG-007
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