Fri, Feb 02, 2007 - Page 12 News List

The National Palace Museum announces Hi-Life joint venture

CASTING THE NET The museum hoped the tie-up would lead to increased sales of its merchandise, while Hi-Life is able to increase its product range

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Palace Museum announced yesterday that it has teamed up with a convenience store chain to offer its licensed merchandise, casting its net wider to include rural areas in order to boost revenues.

Consumers who frequent Hi-Life (萊爾富) stores will now be able to purchase the museum's artistic merchandise through the company's 1,260 retail outlets.

Partnership

"The partnership with Hi-Life will bring our products not only to people living in urban areas, but also to those living in rural areas," Lin Po-ting (林柏亭), the museum's deputy director, told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

Aiming to shake off the stereotype of being a boring showroom, the museum has recently embarked on various initiatives in the past year to promote Taiwanese culture to the world and create a stronger bond with the public.

The museum, which draws around 1.5 million to 2 million visitors a year, has been working with designers with the aim of producing around 100 new products a year, inspired by the 650,000 items in the museum's vast collection.

Revenues

The merchandise -- be it a bottle-opener bearing a dragon motif, or teacups that are reproductions of Qing Dynasty porcelain -- are expected to boost the museum's revenues, in addition to the conventional admission ticket revenues it already receives.

Last March the museum set up an e-commerce Web site (www.npmeshop.com) to start selling its own licensed merchandise online.

By the end of last year, the site had recorded 25 million page views, with monthly revenues hitting NT$1 million (US$30,340), said Wang Shih-sheng (王士聖), a museum division head.

Benefit

Hi-Life convenience stores are also hoping to benefit from the new partnership with the National Palace Museum.

"We will continue to offer more products by working with different suppliers in the future," said Chao Kun-jen (趙坤仁), marketing division vice president of the convenience store chain.

Last November, Life-ET kiosks which were deployed at the company's stores started to offer products such as cosmetics, books and food.

These kiosks have posted sales of as much as NT$4 million a month, and Hi-Life is expecting further growth in future sales, he said.

Hi-Life convenience stores is one of the top three operators in Taiwan. Competition in the industry is fierce and it hopes to increase sales by offering more diverse product lines.

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