Communications – An Extension of the Museum Experience

August 8, 2015

Over the years, I’ve come to recognize the power of communication as it relates to the success of our museum store. At its core, communication helps us connect our store with every other facet of the museum, as well as our customers.

When you ask, “What does communications have to do with museum retail?” My answer would be that if you’re not properly communicating with your staff and other departments, then you’re not communicating well with the public. Read more


Coolest Thing I Ever Bought

August 31, 2015

I have to admit the gift shop is often my favorite part of most museums. As an avid art lover, museums are always on my agenda whenever I travel. For me, after spending several hours exploring a museum, the gift shop is often like dessert.  The gift shop is a little bit of sweetness that hits the spot after a hearty meal of museum fare. Read more


Higher Wages Put the Squeeze on Museum Stores

August 17, 2015

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of most small business operators than the talk of increasing the minimum wage. The minimum wage issue continues to be a hot debate between business owners, economists, and politicians. On one side are working folks and their advocates who argue that the current minimum wage is not a living wage. On the other side of the debate are business owners who fear that a quantum leap in the minimum wage will create havoc in their traditional business model. Read more


Using Pinterest for Social Media Marketing

August 10, 2015

Pinterest is a great social media platform for retailers for two reasons. First, users can use it to create “idea boards” for things such as “Great gifts for people who love hiking,” or “Ideas for my amazing wedding reception.” Second, Pinterest users are heavy on the “buy.” Many idea boards on Pinterest are directly linked to a way to purchase an item, although do-it-yourself and recipes remain important categories on Pinterest. Read more


Managing Tough Conversations

August 1, 2015

Sooner or later, every manager needs to have one of those conversations with a member of their staff. It’s the type of conversation that usually begins, “I need to see you in my office…” And from there it usually goes downhill.

One of the challenges of managing a museum store is that many times staff members are often your friends. Many stores have small staffs that spends long hours together. You really get to know your staff. And that’s great, you want an environment where everyone feels comfortable. But ultimately your job is to manage your staff, as you work to make the store a success. Read more


Employee Engagement

July 27, 2015

There’s an ethos at Google that says if you give the right tools to the people who like to make a difference… they will.

While it might be difficult to compare an operation the size of Google to a museum store, many of the essential tools for employee engagement are the same no matter the size or mission of the business.

Your employees can make all of the difference.  Not only are you entrusting them with the care of your customers, they also need to take care of your bottom line. Your employees are your partners in creating a successful enterprise. Read more

Continuous Improvement

July 18, 2015

The management system that helped Japan radically overhaul their entire manufacturing process more than fifty years ago may be just the ticket to keep your museum store on the cutting edge. Often referred to as the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) or Total Quality System (TQS), this management style has been successfully adopted by companies – both large and small – across the United States. The essence of Continuous Improvement is actually quite simple and can be a valuable tool for managing a museum store. Read more

Technology for the End of the Analog World



July 12, 2015

If the VCR in your living room is still flashing 12:00, then ever-changing  retail technology  is bound to be more daunting than ever.  Even by replacing of that old VCR with a snazzy new version of video-on-demand, the technology merry-go-round may still pose a challenging hill to climb.

Like it or not, technology is has become an integrated part of every retail operation.  What started out years ago as simply a souped-up version of the traditional cash register has evolved into a multi point POS system that can control virtually every facet of the store from the front door to the loading dock. Obviously, as a store operator, the challenge is to keep everyone on your team up-to-date and ready for whatever changes are around the corner.  Sometimes, that’s easier said than done.  You may have hired someone for their unmatched people skills, but now you face helping them adapt to whatever new system updates are close at hand. Read more

The Male Museum Store Customer

July 6, 2015

by Andrew Andoniadis

If you are a retailer, you know that there is no single way to increase sales from male museum visitors. As a retailer you have tried different things to get men to buy but have not found a consistent solution. This dilemma can potentially be solved by looking back to our ancestral roots: men are hunters and women are gatherers. Read more

Dealing with Dogs: How to Handle Non-Moving Merchandise

June 4, 2015

It caught your eye at the trade show and  you placed a good sized order for your store. Now, eight months later great item is gathering dust on your shelf.  It not as eye catching as you once thought.  How do you unload the dogs in your inventory?  More importantly, how many non-sellers  can your store support before it becomes a serious issue for your bottom-line? Read more