Chinese New Year is a significant holiday, which sees workers in China take up to a month off to celebrate with family. You can think about it a little like an extended version of our Christmas and New Year period; a time when almost everyone is off work, many businesses close, and productivity is low. With China producing a large proportion of promotional items, it’s critical that you factor this in when preparing for your next campaign.

Many Australian businesses return to full swing in February, following the Christmas, New Year and January holidays and start planning for the next quarter, but when it comes to your promotional items, you’ll have already missed the boat.

Chinese New Year typically occurs in late January or early February; the dates are not set and vary based on a lunar calendar. The 2022 Chinese New Year will occur on 1st of February, with celebrations running through until 15 February. Most people take leave at this time and many businesses will shut down completely from around 24 January, for up to a month.

A holiday of this scale has a huge impact and Chinese factories enter peak manufacturing season in the months preceding the holiday. During the last quarter of the year, factories make a large proportion of their yearly revenue as production ramps up.

As demand increases, and companies rush to get their orders in, the unit price can increase, and factories can handpick and prioritise the more profitable jobs. Quality can be impacted too, as factories try to increase output to meet demand.

This can leave smaller customers paying a higher price with the risk of reduced quality and no guarantee of delivery before deadline.

It’s important to remember that it’s not only production of your items that is impacted, it’s the whole supply chain. The factory is likely to experience delays in receiving the raw materials required to start your job, pushing it back from the outset, and the delays will continue through to production, shipping and logistics, so it can push your deadline out by months.

Even after the holiday, there can be significant delays, as factories return to production, often on a skeleton staff, with a backlog of orders.

The time to order is now

The reality is that if you don’t confirm your order before 1st December, you may not receive your products until late April or early May 2022. This may mean missing out on product launches, key events or even seasonal summer, Easter or Mother’s Day campaigns, which can be costly for your business.

To maximise your chances of on time and on budget delivery, the earlier the better. If you haven’t started planning for 2022, start now. Allowing time for quote comparison, samples and consulting stakeholders, December isn’t far off and it’s best to get in earlier if possible.

Your supplier is your best source for up-to-date lead times and product information so engage them early in your planning.

There are some variables; particularly when it comes to the item you choose. Because so many workers are on leave, labour-intensive products are likely to have a longer delay than machined ones. Your merchandise supplier can advise you on what to order and when, to get on time delivery and even the best bang for your buck.

Left it too late?

For some items, onshore production, here in Australia can be an option for last minute orders but be prepared to spend much bigger. You may also be limited in the customisations available to you, for example, you may not be able to customise the colour to suit your brand and will have to go with the closest available colour. So essentially, you will pay more for an item that isn’t quite right.

Time to start planning for 2022? Talk to GHI Imports now to find out what is trending, when you should order and how to make the most of your budget.