The New Year is perhaps the most beloved and long-awaited Russian holiday. And he can not do without the most important attribute of the celebration - a beautiful fluffy Christmas tree decorated with balls and garlands. Previously, natural Christmas trees were ubiquitous. Recently, however, thanks to various environmental organizations and fighters for a clean environment, sales of living trees have been declining every year around the world.
Many, including Russian consumers, begin to prefer artificial Christmas trees, which have a large number of advantages. Firstly, they are economical: their service life is several years (usually manufacturers give a guarantee for six years), in contrast to natural firs and pines, which can hardly withstand long New Year holidays.
Artificial Christmas trees do not prick, do not crumble, and they often look more beautiful and neat than real trees. Another big plus of artificial Christmas trees is that the buyer can choose a tree of any size - from miniature table trees to huge Christmas trees up to five meters high, which are installed on city streets and squares.
The Russian market presents products of artificial spruce producers from various countries. Among them, companies from China, Russia, Italy, Canada and Germany prevail. All of them differ in price categories and quality. So, Chinese spruce trees are considered the cheapest and least quality. Dear naturalistic artificial Christmas trees are exported, for the most part, from European countries. Their production is a complex technological process, during which each branch is cast separately in a special form. This type of production of cast spruce is considered the most expensive, but it quickly pays off due to the high retail cost of products. Most domestic companies produce products in the middle and low price segment.
Of course, this business has its drawbacks. Factories that produce New Year's products (toys, garlands, actually Christmas trees) operate seasonally, because, for obvious reasons, the demand for Christmas and New Year's goods remains for only 1.5-2 months a year. However, the products themselves are produced year-round, as their sales volumes during the season are very large.
At a low cost of production and a large margin, sales revenues for only a few New Year’s weeks allow companies to recoup all their costs of manufacturing goods, maintaining staff, renting production and warehouse space, advertising, etc. However, even in the worst case, if seasonal sales volumes were not high enough, the company can close almost without loss.
Plastic spruce come in various forms. The most common are Christmas trees made of PVC, models using fishing lines and modern spectacular fiber optic fir trees. The first method of production - from polyvinyl chloride ribbons using wire and steel tubes for the barrel is considered the least expensive with a good result: Christmas trees made of this material look beautiful and quite naturalistic. The material from which they are made is resistant to fire, does not deteriorate and is practically harmless. The retail price of such a domestically produced Christmas tree starts at 900 rubles per meter. Christmas trees and pines made using plastic fishing line or in a combination of fishing line with PVC tape also look natural and beautiful. The fishing line imitates young needles of light green color, and closer to the trunk, the color turns into dark green. The cost of such a tree is at least 1, 500 rubles per meter.
Fiber optic spruces are made on the basis of light-conducting fiber, which allows you to create various models. So, for example, Christmas trees and pines are produced, in which the tip of each individual needle glows. Fir trees with LEDs are also available on the market, which are mounted along the entire length of the branch.
The cheapest Chinese-made firs are made of thick paper with special impregnation. On the one hand, they look pretty good, yielding, of course, to other artificial Christmas trees, but they are incomparably cheaper. On the other hand, they are characterized by a short service life and increased fire, so you can not hang electric Christmas lights on them. As mentioned above, the most expensive in terms of production cost and retail price are cast Christmas trees. The price of one meter of such artificial spruce is from 4-5 thousand rubles and above.
Depending on the technology and production method, an artificial Christmas tree can be a barrel, frame or cone. The most popular sizes of Christmas trees for the house are from one to three meters. Artificial spruces and pines about three meters high are purchased for schools and kindergartens, and Christmas trees 4-5 meters high are installed on the streets. According to the principle of assembly, artificial Christmas trees are of two types: prefabricated and folding. In the first case, each spruce branch has a hook, with the help of which a separate section is fixed on the trunk.
In addition, each branch has its own marking to facilitate assembly work. The main advantage: such Christmas trees are convenient to store, since when assembled they take up very little space. The disadvantage is that their assembly requires more time than installing a folding Christmas tree. In the latter case, the branches are already fixed on the trunk. It is enough to interconnect separate parts of the trunk and move the branches to the desired level (the mechanism works on the principle of a folding umbrella). Such Christmas trees are also compact and much more convenient and easier to assemble. But the cost of such trees is much higher than prefabricated models.
The organization of a small production of artificial Christmas trees does not require large upfront costs. Such spruces are made from polyvinyl chloride material, which has a unique set of technical characteristics, and, most importantly, this raw material is very inexpensive. The cost of equipment is also relatively low. To install it does not require a large room. Some entrepreneurs save on rent by working in their own garages.
The production itself is quite simple and automated, so at first you can work on it yourself. In the future, as production volumes increase, it will be possible to think about hiring additional workers. In any case, regardless of the volume of products you produce, it is very important to use only environmentally friendly raw materials and strictly observe production technologies.
Of the equipment you will need one universal machine. Its cost will be about $ 1000-1500 (the simplest new equipment for the production of Christmas trees, ritual wreaths, baskets, etc. costs so much). Add to this the cost of the PVC film from which the needles of Christmas trees and pines are made. Cheap film will cost about 10 rubles per meter. One small Christmas tree takes 10 meters of film. Thus, the cost of production of one Christmas tree is about 200 rubles (it will take about three hours to produce it).
The process of manufacturing a prefabricated artificial Christmas tree consists of several stages. PVC film is fed into a special machine, which unwinds the roll and cuts it into a large number of individual small needles. This is the future needles, which then gets into another machine, which connects individual needles with a metal wire, forming a long Christmas tree ribbon.
Then this tape is cut into parts of different sizes, from which the finished branches are assembled. This work is carried out manually or with the help of another machine, which is pre-programmed according to the size of the tree. Ready-made Christmas paws of various sizes are fixed in tiers on a special metal base, similar to a water pipe. It also makes an employee or special equipment. Depending on the size of the segments and the length of the rod, the tree can be of different heights and “fluffiness”.
Of course, this option is suitable only for small enterprises, since in order to produce artificial Christmas trees on an industrial scale, completely different equipment and much more costs will be required. In this case, various specialized machines are needed: separately for weaving tops, twigs, making bases. In addition, a rotor and rotor will be required. Here, however, there are difficulties. Special machines for the production of artificial Christmas trees are not sold in our country. The leaders in the manufacture of such equipment are Italian companies. Many domestic firms for the production of New Year's assortment work for them. If the machine can still be brought from Europe, then with the repair and its completion there are great difficulties. You have to do this yourself, and specialists in working with such sophisticated equipment in our country can be counted on the fingers.
Large domestic manufacturers that produce artificial Christmas trees of various types import not only machines, but also consumables themselves. Basically, they are brought from China, Belgium and the Netherlands. Domestic PVC material is not suitable for the manufacture of large expensive Christmas trees, and its price is higher than the imported one, even taking into account the cost of transporting the latter. Therefore, the only Russian-made materials that our companies use to make Christmas trees are wooden and metal substrates and wire.
While small artisan firms produce only small decorative Christmas trees, the assortment of large enterprises includes both Christmas trees and pines of various heights for the home, and artificial fir trees for installation on city streets and squares. In the latter case, the work of the designer is of great importance. He makes drawings, calculates models for stability, so that the tree does not fall with strong gusts of wind. Only metal is used for the skeleton of such trees, since plastic elements quickly lose strength at low temperatures, and the consequences of such savings can be dire. The materials from which household and outdoor Christmas trees are made must be completely frost-resistant and not subject to fire.
In addition to production facilities that comply with all standards and requirements, large companies should also have large storage facilities. After all, a huge amount of products produced during the year must be stored somewhere. Moreover, it is highly desirable that the production and storage areas were owned by the manufacturer, otherwise he could go broke on a lease.
Another difficulty is related to the fact that money in this business turns around only once a year. If for a small company this is not critical, since the cost of producing artificial Christmas trees is also small, then for large companies this can be disastrous, especially considering the fact that the business of manufacturing artificial Christmas trees is notable for its relatively low profitability - about 10%.
According to experts, in the absence of additional sources of income, such a business simply will not last long. Although certain amounts are received throughout the year as a prepayment (especially if the company works with large retail chains), they are still not enough to cover all current expenses. Everyone solves this problem in his own way. Someone is expanding production, producing, in addition to Christmas trees, garlands and Christmas toys, completing manufactured Christmas products with various decorations, lighting elements, offering services for installing vandal-proof fences, as well as for decorating fir trees, assembling and dismounting them.
And someone is reprofiling in the "off-season" and produces artificial wreaths at this time. Many people consider the Christmas tree business as an addition to the main direction of the enterprise. In addition to production, most of the year such manufacturers are engaged in market research, promotion of their products and sales. But in our country, far from everything can be predicted and planned. Most of the sales take place spontaneously.
Despite the fact that the Christmas trees are ordered and released throughout the year, nevertheless, the New Year’s months of the company work in a constant rush. Within 2-3 months before the holidays, they constantly receive additional orders, many of which can be quite large volumes. But since such factories work on a single shift, they have no way to instantly increase production volumes, which leads to constant deadlines.
Small firms sell their goods through markets or individual retail stores. Sales of artificial Christmas trees per season can reach 50-60 units per day at these points. So the entrepreneur’s profit is quite good, even taking into account seasonality.
Large manufacturing companies work with retail chains (Auchan, Lenta, etc.) and with small retail. True, the latter they do not work so willingly. Such firms, as a rule, do not purchase goods in batches with an advance payment, but take it for sale. The return of unsold products can be from 30 to 70%, while the return from networks rarely exceeds 6-7%. They also receive bulk orders from various educational and administrative institutions - kindergartens, schools, city administrations, etc.
Most manufacturers of artificial spruce trees are looking for wholesale customers through their own sites and at specialized exhibitions (Christmas Time, Bytkhimekspo). The main competitors of domestic factories are Chinese and Ukrainian companies, as well as other Russian manufacturers.
Despite the large number of players in the market, the demand for artificial spruce is still quite high. But the market is saturated quickly, and experts do not undertake to predict when this process will reach a critical level. However, for now, entrepreneurs are confident that the potential for developing a “Christmas tree” business is still quite large both in Russia and abroad. Many domestic manufacturers dream to go beyond the Russian market. They claim that their products surpass European ones in many respects, as they use good equipment, new technologies, strictly control quality and at the same time can offer a lower price.
For the opening of its own Christmas tree mini-production, 300 thousand rubles is enough. Moreover, most of this amount will be used to purchase materials and advertise their products. The payback period depends entirely on the quality of your products. In the most favorable case, they will be at least two years.
The cost of opening a large production of artificial Christmas trees, of course, will be many times higher. So, imported equipment alone, including machines for the general assembly of Christmas trees, for traditional winding, for assembling branches, for rotor winding, a perforating machine, a centering machine, a ruff making machine, a rotary perforating machine, will cost more than one million rubles . PVC film and monofilament PVC (ruff, fishing line) are also usually ordered abroad, therefore, in addition to the cost of raw materials, immediately lay down the costs of its delivery.
The payback period of this type of business reaches 5-6 years. If the production of artificial Christmas trees is not the main and not the only direction of the enterprise, then you can count on stable profit within three years after the start of its activity.
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