French President’s residence to sell branded souvenirs
The Elysée Palace has trademarked its own brand, and is set to sell a range of branded souvenirs in a bid to raise money for building renovations.
The Palace confirmed to news source HuffPost that household cabinet director, Patrick Strzoda, had registered a new brand name with French trademarks office the INPI, called “Elysée - Présidence de la République” on May 31.
The Elysée is now seeking offers for a licensing partnership to “think about a marketing strategy with adapted products, a bigger distribution structure, and better visibility”.
Several options are said to be in play, including selling products online, in cultural centres, in souvenir shops, during special national events, or even tourist kiosks by the Palace itself.
Rumoured objects that could be on sale include traditional “souvenir items” such as postcards, cigarette lighters, pens, caps, keyrings, and scented candles.
Offers are expected to be completed by July 2, and an online shop could appear by September 15 - although the Palace did not confirm this either way.
If the project goes ahead officially, it will be a first for the Palace.
Up until now, the logo and "brand" of the Elysée have never been commercialised, except for very rare occasions such as national "Journées du Patrimoine".
A member of the Palace said: “At the moment, the project is simply trying to determine the best strategy to distribute the brand. While the opening of an online store is certainly an option, we have many others in the pipeline.
They added: “The entirety of profit from this operation will go towards financing the renovation of the historic palace buildings.”
The property is said to require renovations of its plumbing, electricity systems, carpets, fire safety measures, and paintwork, in a plan amounting to €100million over seven years.
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France