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Volume 7 No. 149
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Rio 2016 Merchandise Sales Hit $15.5M Despite Sagging Local Economy

Licensed merchandise sales have been a relative strength of the beleaguered Rio 2016 organizing committee, with fan buying exceeding expectations.

Revenue has eclipsed R$50M -- roughly $15.5M -- through Thursday, a spokesperson said, more than 11% above the last pre-Games projections.

“Considering the economic factors of the country and the poor performance of the Brazilian retail (sector), sales were satisfactory,” said Rio 2016 representative Nathalia Lugon.

The Vinicius mascot was a popular item at the packed megastore at Barra Olympic Park last week.
About 70% of the organizing committee’s sales come from its two massive Rio megastores, one on Copacabana Beach and another inside Barra Olympic Park. They have combined for 85,000 visitors per day, with volumes increasing daily, she said. Both stores had checkout lines of more than 20 minutes and dense crowds in merchandise areas when visited late last week.

On average, customers spend R$380, or about $118, the committee said.

The top-selling item is the plush Rio 2016 mascot Vinicius, which retails for R$100, or about $31.