A tuk-tuk carrying tea leaves, wooden columns decorated with medallions, masks brought fr om Sri Lanka, dynamic installations and pieces of art depicting leopards, elephants and peacocks, a tea tasting area, and, on top of that, a QR tour around one of the most picturesque islands in the world. All this is featured in the new themed Silpo store in Kyiv in 17-21 Bahhovutivska Street.
“Development of this supermarket represents a new framework of cultural diplomacy. This is the first time that a government of a foreign country supports the launch of a supermarket in Ukraine,” says Silpo Marketing Director Kateryna Ohuriaieva. “For us, this is an opportunity to transform stores into spaces for cultural development and new experiences, wh ere visitors can immerse themselves in the atmosphere of a different country. This kind of experience is essential now when the borders of countries are closed.”
At the entrance to the supermarket, customers can see Sri Lankan flags with a golden lion in a red background and the inscription 'Silpo' in Sinhalese, a language predominantly spoken on the island. The store's interior is styled after a jungle: green thickets are depicted on the walls with monkeys jumping close to the ceiling. A separate area is dedicated to the main predator of the island, the Sri Lankan leopard. Don't forget about tea: the new supermarket offers 130 types of Ceylon tea, the largest range in the chain.
Traditional masks made of tropical wood and brought from Sri Lanka are another special feature of the new supermarket. Each mask has its own meaning: peacock's head brings happiness, tongues of flame inspire energy, while cobra brings protection.
Additionally, each themed installation in the supermarket has a QR code placed beside it enabling customers to do a virtual tour around Sri Lanka.
“This instance of cooperation is a good example of promoting Sri Lankan culture in other countries,” said Pavithree Peiris, Sri Lankan government spokeswoman and director of the Sri Lanka Tea Board. “During the store's development stage, it was important for us to showcase the natural beauty and cultural features of the island, as well as its unique features such as hundreds of varieties of Ceylon tea well-known around the world. To do this, we invited the Silpo team to visit our country and study its traditions and history and to see all the sights with their own eyes. We are very glad that now Ukraine has a corner of our homeland with a unique department of Ceylon tea, which offers more than 130 items.”
The Sri Lanka Tea Board is the country's government body responsible for the development of the tea industry and the promotion of Ceylon tea around the world. It includes various stakeholders: manufacturers, brokers, exporters, etc.
Founded in 1998, Silpo is one of the largest food supermarket chains in Ukraine. It is part of Fozzy Group, one of the largest trade and industrial groups in Ukraine. As of July 2020, there are 263 supermarkets, including 4 Le Silpo delicatessen and online store shop.silpo.ua. Silpo is one of the few large grocery retailers in the world that creates a unique themed design for each store. Last year, three Silpo themed supermarkets entered Europe’s Finest Store 2019, the top 25 best innovative designs in European stores, according to European Supermarket Magazine. The company has a project to support and develop small Ukrainian producers called Lavka Tradytsii, whose products can be purchased at Silpo and Le Silpo delicatessen.News Archive
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