Rush for Élysée online sales of French and Macron paraphernalia


Since its launch last Friday, an official Élysée Palace online shop has turned over 350,000 euros in sales of goods made in France ranging from mugs and postcards bearing the portrait of President Emmanuel Macron to T-shirts and watches promoting French culture, in a controversial initiative which is partly to raise money for the restoration of the ageing presidential office building.

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An online shop selling mugs decorated with the face of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and 250-euro (£223) bracelets spelling out liberté, égalité, and fraternité has sold about 350,000 euros-worth of memorabilia in just three days, reprots The Guardian.

Officials say a total of 7,320 presidential items have been snapped up since the virtual store opened online for business on Friday, making the average spend just under 48 euros.

Sales were boosted by the opening of a pop-up shop in the Élysée’s main courtyard this weekend, where more than 200,000 people took advantage of heritage open days to visit the palace.

The catalogue of around 60 items ranging from 2 euros for a postcard of the president to 250 euros for a “gold-filled liberty bracelet”, includes more than keyrings, pens and postcard portraits of Emmanuel Macron and French flags.

A mug carrying the president’s official portrait costs just under 25 euros, a short white T-shirt embroidered with “Première Dame” costs 55 euros and a sweatshirt emblazoned “Français” or “Française” across the front will set you back 115 euros.

Macron has engaged in a spot of not-so-subtle advertising by sporting one of the store’s more expensive items, a 169-euro LIP watch with blue, white and red strap.

The Élysée, which insists at least half the souvenirs cost less than 15 euros, says it has plans to expand its range. “From 2019, products will be developed under licence by French brands and will be available more widely through their network of shops, sellers and their foreign exports,” it said in a statement.

“This larger distribution will give greater exposure to the brand name, to the values of the republic, to French culture and its celebrated savoir faire.”

The Élysée takes a cut of 12% of sales of the 100% Made in France items and hopes to raise funds for the restoration of the 300-year-old presidential palace.

Read more of this report from The Guardian.



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