AUSTRALIA’S biggest online retail chain has announced it will open its first African arts shop in Melbourne.
Key points:The shop is a flagship store in the retail chain’s expanded Australian branchThe store is a $1.4 million store and will open by the end of SeptemberWorld’s biggest retailer is expanding its Australian retail footprint to include more than 400 stores and online retailersThe first Africa-only store will open in the Melbourne CBD’s Arts and Craft’s Store at the end-of-SeptemberMr Tomi said the store would be the world’s largest African arts and crafts store.
“Our new African store will be a flagship location and will be the first in our new Australian branch, in the heart of the Melbourne City CBD,” he said.
“The store will also feature our new collection of African prints and prints on demand, including prints from the African Art Museum.”‘
It’s really going to be a home’The store, called the Art and Craft Shop at the Westfield Shopping Centre, will be located in the mall’s Arts Centre and open to the public.
“It’s a unique experience for our community to come and have our very own art collection and also to have our own products and to have a chance to purchase them from our own shops,” Mr Tomi told reporters.
“We’re very excited to open this store and the people who live in Melbourne and the rest of Australia can come and visit and enjoy our store and shop there.”
The store’s design was inspired by the African diaspora community, with colourful prints and artwork created by a variety of artists.
Mr Tomis said the shop would feature an extensive range of African art and craft products including prints, crafts and jewellery.
“They’ll be on display in the shop and they’ll be part of our collection,” he told ABC News.
“People will be able to purchase a wide variety of products, from African prints, prints on paper, handbags and so on.”
Mr Tom’s father, Paul Tomi, who was a member of the African National Congress, has been instrumental in the store’s development.
“He was the one who actually got the idea and he was very keen to be part the process of it all,” he recalled.
“I mean, I was absolutely devastated when the store closed.”
The Art and Crafting Shop will be open from September to November.