During a news conference earlier this month, organizers of the Chengdu games said they had launched more than 1,000 types of souvenirs, which would be available at around 400 licensed merchandise stores. （Photo by Wei Xiaohao/China Daily）
Games: More than 1,000 types of souvenirs launched
Days of drizzle and rain in Chengdu, Sichuan province, have not dampened the enthusiasm of residents and tourists who are flocking to stores selling Chengdu FISU World University Games merchandise to buy souvenirs featuring Rongbao, the adorable panda mascot for the event that kicks off on Friday.
On Thursday morning, a shop on the bustling Chunxi Road, which is one of the 400 licensed merchandise stores set up in the city for the games, had a waiting period of at least 15 minutes. Shoppers armed with patience and umbrellas waited outside for their turn to enter the store, browse and buy souvenirs including plush toys modeled on Rongbao, coins, keychains, stationery and more.
Zhang Tongyi, a 67-year-old tourist from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, said he was looking to buy pendants and stationery featuring the mascot for his grandchildren.
Zhang, who had just returned from a sightseeing trip to Mount Emei with his wife, said they are lucky that their holiday in Sichuan coincides with the international multisport event. "I know Chengdu is famed for its giant pandas, so buying some panda mascot souvenirs for the kids will be quite fitting, I think," he added.
During a news conference earlier this month, organizers of the Chengdu games said they had launched more than 1,000 types of souvenirs, which would be available at around 400 licensed merchandise stores.
Hu Jie, head of the Chunxi Road store, said they were receiving a steady stream of customers since the store opened on June 25, but the numbers grew rapidly this week in the run-up to the games' opening ceremony.
"Our store is open from 9 am till midnight, and we are swamped with queries and requests from customers. Souvenir coins, mini-torches, stuffed Rongbao toys and tea sets are among the most popular items," he said.
Hu added, "We can tell that people are very interested in buying games merchandise, and our supplies are sufficient."
At a licensed store in Kuanzhai Alley, a landmark street dotted with restaurants, bars and teahouses, Zhang Haoxuan, a local high school student, bought a Rongbao keychain for himself.
"When I was drawn to the store by the crowd gathering outside, I did not know there was such a large selection of games merchandise here. I will certainly tell my classmates about the store," he said.
Zhou Lizhen, head of the store, said that some of the gift items attracting many foreigners include bone china cup-and-saucer sets and Shu embroidery products, which are made with a knitting style unique to Sichuan province.
"We have so far had foreign customers from France, Italy, Russia and Switzerland," Zhou said.