Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the 'Jamaica Shop' experience in London was "by all accounts a huge success".
Jamaica Shop was executed by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), inside Jamaica House in London, and featured a wide array of Jamaican products and souvenirs from more than 95 suppliers. These included products in agro processing, art and craft, apparel, jewellery, books and CDs.
Minister Hylton reported that, "when the sales of Jamaica Shop are combined with the sales from events at Birmingham and Brixton, we are looking at earnings of least £100,000 sterling or nearly $14 million in retail sales over 10 days."
He noted that a number of buyers in the United Kingdom (UK) have purchased the unsold stock of some of the suppliers. In addition, JAMPRO and JBDC have received numerous queries from distributors in the marketplace for products displayed in the UK.
"Overall, response to the shop was extremely positive with many patrons (particularly those Diaspora-based), commending the national effort and expressing the wish for a permanent Jamaica Shop in London," the Minister said.
He reported that the Jamaica Shop remained busy for the entire period, with customers comprising mainly persons of Jamaican origin or with Jamaican connections.
Minister Hylton emphasised however, that even more important than the sales, was the market intelligence, insights and experience gained by the 95 small and medium-sized enterprises, whose products were sold and marketed in the UK.
He said all levels of producers were given a chance to enter the market under the 'Things Jamaican' label and the experience provided "a live workshop on how to package, label and position their products in the UK and European marketplace."
The Investment Minister explained that an important feature of the Jamaica Shop was the Brand Jamaica Display, which was set up to showcase key export products that were not necessarily on sale in the store. He noted that the display attracted the interest of consumers as well as invited guests, who were members of the importing and distributive trade.