Overview of the year

Van Gogh Museum Enterprises BV

VGME in short

Van Gogh Museum Enterprises BV (hereinafter: VGME) is responsible for the majority of the museum’s commercial activities. VGME develops products and services inspired by the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, and is always seeking new approaches to make his work accessible to as broad an audience as possible. The activities focus on local, global and digital dimensions. VGME is a vital part of the museum’s revenue structure.

Vans x Van Gogh Museum Vans x Van Gogh Museum

From licensing to e-commerce

Licensing and wholesale

2018 was a successful year: licensing achieved 39% growth with respect to 2017. There were major collaborations with Samsonite and Vans, multiple outlets of the Van Gogh Café opened in China and our licensed merchandise on Alibaba was once again very popular this year.

Wholesale achieved growth of 17% in 2018 compared to the previous year, primarily thanks to increasing interest in VGM merchandise at various Vincent van Gogh landmarks, such as Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise. VGM merchandise is also exceedingly popular at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Professional Services

Professional Services offers consultancy services to (international) museums, owners of Van Gogh works, companies and private collectors, both locally and – primarily – globally. In 2018, Professional Services activities included holding multiple lectures in China, organising courses, contributing to congresses, conserving works by Van Gogh and his contemporaries and conducting research.

Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience

In 2018, the museum made concerted efforts to reach agreements with various venues for hosting the Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience, our interactive, multisensory 3D installation. As a result of these efforts, the Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience will in any case open to the public in both Barcelona and Seoul in spring 2019.


Merchandise sales once again increased in 2018. The growth in sales of the more luxurious range and of licensed articles through our own retail channels was particularly pronounced.
The Bookshop was renovated in 2018, creating an inspiring and accessible shop where the connection with the museum and Van Gogh the artist takes centre stage.

Pop-up tour

The Van Gogh Museum Editions Pop-up tour was launched in 2018, helping the museum to make Van Gogh’s masterpieces accessible around the world. This interactive, travelling tour features the exclusive Van Gogh Museum Editions, high-quality 3D reproductions of Van Gogh works that are almost impossible to distinguish from the original artworks with the naked eye. The Pop-up tour first visited a shopping mall in Philadelphia, before it headed to New Jersey. In quieter periods at the malls, the Pop-up tour welcomed schoolchildren and visually-impaired visitors. In addition to the presentation of the Museum Editions, the Pop-up tour also features a gift shop. Thanks to the Pop-up tour, a total of some 50,000 people were introduced to Vincent van Gogh and our museum.

Pop-up in Philadelphia | Photograph: Ted Washington Pop-up in Philadelphia | Photograph: Ted Washington


In 2018, the processes and systems used in the shops were scrutinised, which resulted in the introduction of significant improvements.


In 2018, the gross demand of the official Van Gogh Museum webstore increased dramatically by 64% compared to the budget, from € 500K to € 820K. Demand rose by nearly 100% compared to 2017 (€ 416K in 2017 vs. € 820K in 2018). Sales in primarily the licensed and POD product categories increased significantly in 2018. The average order value (AOV) rose to € 87. In 2018, the webstore ended the year in the black for the first time in its history.

27% of all orders were generated in the Netherlands. 73% of all orders in 2018 were generated outside of the Netherlands. In terms of conversion, the leading countries outside of the Netherlands are the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy. Referral traffic from the museum website is responsible for 42% of all orders in the webstore vangoghmuseum.nl/en.