David Gilbert, former chief operating officer of Dixons Group, now DSGi, has launched an etail venture to sell key products from more than 60 leading art institutions.
The site, CultureLabel.com, pulls together artist-designed and limited-edition products from museums and galleries such as the British Museum, V&A, Tate, Tate Modern and the Baltic centre for contemporary art in Gateshead.
Gilbert said: “Many people are turning away from the throwaway mentality of the mainstream high street and looking for unique brands or items. And unless customers go to one of the galleries or visit that institution’s website, they won’t be able to get hold of these items.”
CultureLabel selects the best of what’s available at the institutions and will add new products each day. Shoppers can search by category, price or institution and there is also a ‘wish list’ option for gift ideas.
The site, which carries products including a flock wallpaper from surreal Glaswegian design studio Timorous Beasties from the V&A and a Giant Triceratops soft toy from the Natural History Museum, also has weekly editorial to highlight new products, or products related to temporary exhibitions.
Gilbert, who was also previously managing director of Waterstone’s, teamed up with Florian Wupperfeld, consultant to Soho House Group, Peter Tullin, former national account director for arts development agency Arts & Business, and consumer insight specialist Simon Cronshaw, to launch the site.
The venture has been set up with seven undisclosed shareholders who are all joint venture partners, as part of the Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme. “We are very solidly funded and our partners are all entrepreneurs so there is a lot of knowledge in our group already,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert also said that once the site is established in the UK as the “destination for all cultural shopping” it will open up to international customers and source products from overseas. “We are already being contacted by institutions across the world so we know there is the appetite. We just need to get the UK up and running first,” he said.