With the objective of popularizing and promoting the Sri Lankan handy-crafts industry both locally and globally, Laksala, the oldest and most well-known gift and souvenir boutique in Sri Lanka, will open its landmark store in the Colombo Museum premise at the end of this month. Positioned as the ‘National Museum Gallery Café’, the state-of-the-art showroom, which is constructed at a cost of Rs.185 million, falls under the Divi Neguma social development scheme with the guidance of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
While the cabinet has approved Rs.220 million for the museum outlet project, the sum spent for the first phase will amount to approximately Rs.185 million, whilst the balance will be utilized for future expansions. Using a land space of one and a half acres, the building for Laksala has been designed in a manner that will preserve the outlook and the national heritage depicted through the National Museum. The showroom will have more than 30,000 stock keeping units (SKU), complimenting and expanding the supply chain all around the island.
Laksala Chairman Anil Koswatte commenting on the newest outlet said, “Being categorized as an underperforming entity for many years, Laksala has seen a significant turnaround within the last few years and we continue to look at a brighter future under the Divi Neguma programme. Subsequent to the showroom at the museum, we plan to open a store in Galle Magalla tourist center and revamp the existing outlet in Kandy. We see these expansions not only as revenue generators for the national economy but also as astep towards assisting village craftsmen and rural suppliers.”
He further went onto to note that as a result of the dynamic reformation process, there are more than 5,000 artisans, craftsmen and suppliers registered with Laksala from across the island and their goal is to increase the supply base to 15,000 and SKU to 50,000 by 2016. Due to the continuous expansion many people have gained livelihoods and are able to develop their craftsmanship to a higher status.
Laksala, the attractive and revamped state-owned gift shop, has a gamut of Sri Lankan products, ranging from wood craft, brassware, leather, ceramics, batiks, hand-looms and many more. The variety of products sold at Laksala is geared to cater to the needs of many local and foreign buyers.