Posted: Mar 2, 2009, 8:47 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Downtown HBC store to house Olympic "superstore"
VANOC planning souvenir superstore
By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS
Get ready for the Olympic floor at Hudson’s Bay Company’s downtown Vancouver flagship store.
The existing Vancouver 2010 Olympic souvenir department will expand to cover two-thirds of the main floor at the West Georgia Street Bay store, 24 hours has learned. Grand opening of the Vancouver 2010 superstore is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 1 when Canadian Olympic team uniforms will be revealed.
Only Visa and cash will be accepted. Olympic souvenir superstores have traditionally been located under massive temporary tents, like the 2,000 square metre facility at Torino 2006 that drew 300,000 shoppers.
"I can't comment on it right now, but we'll have more to say on that in the near future," said VANOC director of licensing and merchandising Dennis Kim.
Kim was at the opening of the three-day Vancouver Gift Show in B.C. Place Stadium on Sunday, the day after the one-year countdown to the closing ceremony passed quietly. VANOC and its licensees -- from collectible pin company Artiss Aminco and toque and scarf maker Kootenay Knitting to Purdy’s and Rogers chocolates and Blade Pro hockey tape -- showed-off their goods to retail buyers.
The Vancouver 2010 “pavilion” was a key attraction on the floor of the stadium where the 2010 Games will begin and end.
"We are the one brand that stands out of the entire show,” Kim said. “We wanted to do that to create an atmosphere that is similar to the Games experience. You want to be able to demonstrate this is an exciting brand."
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Kim predicts the retail legacy of Vancouver 2010 will be that it "produced a spike of sales at a time that might normally have been a lot more difficult."
Sales for the November 2008 to January 2009 quarter were up 49% from the previous year. Items are stocked at 400 Bay and Zeller’s stores and 1,300 independent retailers. More than 300,000 of the Miga, Quatchi, Sumi and Mukmuk mascot dolls sold in just over a year.
Approximately 70 per cent of overall sales will be recorded between the Christmas 2009 shopping season and the end of the Games. VANOC recently increased its revenue target for souvenir royalties from $46 million to $54 million.
Not everyone is abuzz about Vancouver 2010 souvenirs. Toronto-based Ethical Trading Action Group said VANOC should follow the lead of Nike and publish the names and locations of factories.
VANOC’s 2007-2008 in-house sustainability report card said 198 factories were audited. Troubles were spotted at 148 of them.
Five were banned until the undisclosed infractions were corrected and one was banned until “critical assessments” were addressed.
Sales hot for Olympics souvenirs
Popular mascots make up 26 per cent of all revenue to date
By Damian Inwood, Canwest News Service
February 27, 2009
Vancouver 2010 Olympic souvenir sales are heading higher, faster, stronger.
In fact, Dennis Kim, Games merchandising boss says that sales bucked the national trend and jumped 49 per cent over the three-month Christmas period, compared with 12 months before.
That comes to about $1.6 million, compared with almost $1.1 million in the same period of 2007-8.
"We heard a national report of sales trending downwards by 5.4 per cent and did an analysis for the same period," he said.
"It's true that we have more licensees and more product, but in 2007 it was our mascot launch, which was a huge injection in the market. Not only is it steady a year later but there's growth."
From November through January, overall Olympic sales were almost $5.5 million, he said, and Vancouver 2010 gets royalties from that.
Mascot-related items were strong sellers and, so far, make up 26 per cent of overall revenues, Kim added.
He said that in the three-month Christmas sales period, about 100,000 plush toys were sold, bringing the total to 300,000 so far.
"We always knew we had a great winner in Miga, Sumi, Quatchi and Mukmuk, but the amount that kids and parents have grown to love these characters is quite warming" Kim said.
"To have all mascot products represent 26 per cent of our business is very significant."
Vancouver 2010 merchandise is sold in 1,300 independent outlets and 400 Hudson's Bay Company stores across Canada. That's up 18 per cent since October.
"A lot of these retailers are turning to brands that they know can endure uncertain economic times and certainly hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games is one of those," he said.
In a recent budget revision, merchandising revenue targets were boosted to $53.8 million from $46 million.
By the end of October, they stood at $10.5 million.
New figures will be released in the next quarterly report due in March.
On Sunday, Kim speaks at the Vancouver Gift Show at B.C. Place, giving an overview of the 2010 merchandising program and a glimpse of what Games-time sales may look like.
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