Museum Store Sunday: Roadmap to Success

September 24, 2018

By Laura Murphy

What are you planning for Museum Store Sunday this year? Let’s get creative with our promotions, events and other offers for this special day focusing on museum stores. There are loads of ideas to promote the day — and your stores — and I am happy to share our successes!

Museum Store Sunday was a great day for the Newport Mansions stores in 2017. We decided in August what our events would be in order to promote them on our Newport Mansions website and on social media. We had clear signage throughout the stores announcing our events — and the possibility of ordering online with a discount. All stores gave 20 percent off the entire order.


Our big event was partnering with MSA vendor member Applewood Books. We booked the infamous Book Party van to be at The Breakers store. We created a souvenir book titled “My Visit to The Breakers.” The Book Party van was parked outside the entrance to the store. Applewood took a photo of the visitor and placed it on the cover of their souvenir book. The store did more than 26 percent in sales that day over the previous year. We had examples of the book around the store and lots of balloons to make it festive. The whole staff was caught up in the excitement!

At our downtown store located on Bannisters Wharf in the heart of the tourist area, we worked with Dean from MSA vendor member Channel Craft. Dean sent us a play day box of his children’s line. The kids played with the toys and the parents shopped. We saw a significant boost in sales of 46 percent.


Jon from MSA vendor member Screencraft reached out to us to see what they could do to support us on Museum Store Sunday. We designed an ornament with the notion that it might become an annual keepsake. We sold close to 72 of the 96 ordered. The customers loved the concept, and we will promote it again this year to drive customers to the store.

Marble House did a food tasting with a local distributor. He was strategically placed at the entrance of the store with his goodies ready to sample. What a great way to boost sales — free food is so tempting!

This year with the unified promotion of “25 off on the 25th,” we will definitely be participating by offering our customers 25 percent off their entire purchase. We have planned our events and hope to coordinate efforts with other local museum stores to show the sense of community here in Newport.

This year we are going to promote not only the “25 on the 25th,” but focus on products from Rhode Island. At The Breakers Store, we will have a local author signing her book, which is currently a bestseller in our stores. At Bannisters, Mapisart, a new MSA vendor member, will be doing a trunk show that day, and at Marble House we have invited back our local distributor of food. We are going to start promoting all of this early on to drive visitation for the day. Start planning now for your success with Museum Store Sunday!

laura-murphy-1-e1489411155609Laura Murphy is the retail sales operation manager/buyer for The Preservation Society of Newport County in Newport, Rhode Island.

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