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Games souvenirs will go on sale next month
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Parlaympic paraphenalia will go on sale at Beijing's Olympic souvenir stores from next month, ahead of the Games' start on Sept 6, an official said yesterday.

"About 70 percent of goods on sale in September will celebrate the Paralympic Games," Wang Jian, general manager of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Flagship Store, said.

Paralympics licensed products in more than 10 categories, including clothing, toys, pens and mugs, are under production he said, adding that both Beijing Olympic and Paralympic licensed products will remain on sale until March.

The flagship store in Gongmei Mansion on Wangfujing street has been serving an average 60,000 customers a day, 20 percent of them foreigners, since the Games opened, Wang said.

"We expect even more before the closing ceremony," he said.

In anticipation of the influx, from today the store will extend its hours of business from 12 hours to 14 hours for the next four days.

The store has sold 400 million yuan ($57 million) worth of goods over the past year, with daily takings during the Games averaging out at about 3 million yuan, Wang said.

"Both domestic and overseas customers have been coming in to buy Fuwa," salesperson Wang Qiuxia said.

But more expensive souvenirs, such as the gold and silver miniatures of the Bird's Nest, which cost about 10,000 yuan, have also been selling well because they are collectors' items, a salesperson surnamed Zhou said.

Between 2005 and the end of last year, the total revenue generated from sales of Beijing Olympic licensed products was over $700 million, BOCOG said earlier.

(China Daily August 22, 2008)

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