The first authorized retail outlet of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games mascots and souvenirs outside the mainland opened for business Friday in Macao.
The shop is housed in the office of a Bank of China (BOC) branch on Almeida Ribeiro Avenue in the busy city center, not far from the World Heritage-listed Historical City Center of Macao.
According to Xu Chen, BOC's Beijing Olympics Office Director, the main reason why the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Games (BOCOG) chose Macao instead of Hong Kong to open the first Olympic souvenir shop outside the mainland is Macao's advantageous location. The organizers believe the city as a popular tourist destination will boost the sales of Beijing Olympic souvenirs outside the mainland and especially in Chinese communities throughout the world.
Xu said the types of souvenirs available and the amount to be sold in Macao would mainly depend on the initial sales volume and estimated demands.
Future supply will also be determined by consumer preference and factory output back on the mainland, where the Olympic mascot dolls and other collectibles are made, he added.
Along with many other items bearing their images and the Beijing Olympics emblem, the five cute plush mascots called the Friendlies and each sporting a color of the five Olympic rings are being manufactured under extremely tight supervision by a small number of toy factories considered the best in the trade.
The BOCOG has vowed to ensure the best quality and to protect the creations' intellectual rights even if that means a temporary short supply in the market.