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Souvenirs aim for memorable profits

SALES of more than 1,000 varieties of Expo souvenirs have exceeded 400 million yuan (US$58.6 million), a senior Expo organizer said.

Souvenirs went on sale in Shanghai in December 2007 and have been gradually rising since then, said Zhang Xinlong, deputy director of the Market Development Department of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

There was a surge in sales across the country last month with the publicity surrounding the one-year countdown to the event, he added.

The organizer has a target for total sales of licensed products at around 5 billion yuan, said Chen Xianjin, deputy director general of the Expo bureau.

Sales of licensed products for the Beijing Olympics made 20 billion yuan.

There are 20 main categories of licensed Expo products including garments, toys, craftwork, accessories, clocks, spectacles, stationery, bags, sports equipment, bicycles and personal care products.

More than 100 stores have been opened to sell the products, mainly in the Yangtze River Delta region. The organizer is to set up stores in main cities across the country by the end of the year, Chen said.

Among the most popular souvenirs are a 15-centimeter Haibao doll at 45 yuan, and a 40-centimeter one, costing 95 yuan.

The most expensive is a memorial volume celebrating the event's 600-day countdown and made of jade and gold leaf. It costs 2,800 yuan and only 5,000 have been made.

Officials of the Shanghai Sinnsa Co Ltd and JuneYao Group, main manufacturers of the products and senior sponsors of the 2010 event, said the companies had not yet made profits from the Expo but would begin to do so when the Expo began.

Wang Junhao, vice president of the JuneYao Group, said the Expo was a perfect platform to advertise the company's brand even if it made no money.

He said the company had invested about 200 million yuan in the Expo, including the sponsorship.

The organizer yesterday chose 12 innovative products designed by domestic designers and university students to be new Expo licensed products.

They included a sweater that can be turned into a bag, a lamp with porcelain lampshade and an umbrella with a map of the Expo site on it.

These new products will be on the local market at the end of the month, said Zhu Zhengping, president of Sinnsa.


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