Laksala Museum Gallery Café: More than just a handicraft boutique

Wednesday, 8 January 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Laksala Museum Gallery Café, which was conceptualised by the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa under the Divi Neguma Social Development Scheme, was opened to the public on 1 August 2013 under the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ program. Gallery Café is located in the premises of the National Museum, and has been built to blend perfectly with the architecture and atmosphere of the museum. The uniqueness of the Laksala Museum Gallery Café is that it is the first outlet which has been built in the format of a Gallery Café, unlike the other outlets of Laksala which follow the boutique design. Laksala Gallery Café has been patronised by many notable world leaders including Princess Tsuguko of Takamado of Japan, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, the Israel Diplomatic Delegation and Government officials of the Czech Republic. Momentous events One of the prominent events was Prince Charles’ business leaders’ lunch which was hosted for the heads of business of the Commonwealth Summit; the Laksala Gallery Café was handpicked by his staff at the Buckingham Palace for this special gathering. Another momentous event that was hosted at the outlet was the launch of the New Jaguar F-type car by a prominent Sri Lankan Automobile company, during the month of December. The outlet also has room to host other news-worthy business events for the organisations who are interested in hosting such at the premises. Laksala Gallery Café caters not just for the foreign tourists who visit Sri Lanka, but also to every Sri Lankan who is keen and willing to appreciate the arts and crafts of the country. Highlights One of the main highlights of Laksala Gallery Café is the Mineral Gallery located inside the outlet, which displays an array of minerals found in the country. The Mineral gallery in this outlet is currently the first and the only gallery dedicated for mineral display at Laksala, and has become a key attraction to the visitors. Sri Lanka’s most popular export commodity, tea, is also on display at the Laksala Gallery Café in a special arcade. The high quality varieties of tea are packed to perfection and some are offered in ornamental containers in the shape of an elephant and even as wooden book covers. The life-size statues of artisans engaged in their respective industries, put on a striking show for the customers to get a glimpse of the process the work on display has been through. This state-of-the-art outlet offers to its customers an assortment of 30,000 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) which includes wood crafts, brass-ware, leather products, jewellery, spa products and many more. This four-month old store was able to record a staggering sales figure of Rs. 9.03 million for the month of November alone. Growth in revenue Laksala has been experiencing a notable growth in revenue and profits within the past two to three years, which can be mainly attributed to its shift from the traditional functions of a Laksala store. It has adopted an innovative business model to suit the post-war emerging economy of the country where tourism, both locally and globally, is becoming a focal point in the economy. In order to cater to this, most of its recent outlets like Ape Gama and Laksala Museum Gallery Café were built under customised concepts that have turned the business around. Laksala Gallery Café hopes to organise theme nights and outdoor art exhibitions to create an appreciation towards the traditional arts and crafts of Sri Lanka. Apart from this, they also hope to extend their spa display, by offering their customers therapeutic treatment opportunities while shopping. The outlet is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and has Wi-Fi facilities, which allow their visitors to indulge themselves in the ambiance of the store by lounging at the Café, which has been integrated into the layout of the Laksala Gallery Café.