museums&MORE Fall 2011
Editor’s Letter: Freedom of Choice

I’m writing this letter the week after the Fourth of July, so the spirit of patriotism is still running strong throughout the country. Red, white and blue will cover store shelves for the next couple weeks and flags will be displayed on everything from cars to T-shirts.

This American pride is what brings us together, and also what brings many people to popular tourist destinations throughout the year. Many museums and other institutions whose mission is to talk about U.S. history and culture will see thousands of visitors, a majority of them stopping into the gift shop as part of that trip.

When they browse the store shelves, what will they find? Foreign-made products or those made in the country in which the museum is celebrating?

More and more, retailers are finding that customers are checking the back of product packages not for the price, but for the country of origin. As a result, many retailers are starting to carry American-made products not only because of a patriotic spirit and congruence with their organizational mission, but because those customers are voicing a preference for products made in the U.S.

Many of those customers are still recovering from this economic downturn, and have become very particular about the quality of the products they buy and where their money is going. They have the freedom to choose what they buy, and many realize that supporting local companies means more local jobs and more support for the economy.

The feature takes a look at how companies are responding and ways that retailers can implement more American-made products into their store selection.

And before you shake your head and tell me that it’s impossible to compete with foreign manufacturing and that you would outfit your store in all American-made products if you could, let me tell you that I get it.

I realize it’s not possible for most stores to offer only American-made goods, as most are non-profit organizations and sales from the stores go directly to basic operational funding. Price will always be a factor, and in the end, the items on the shelves have to appeal to the consumer and those items have to sell.

But we can all take small steps, whether it’s doing a little more research or carrying one more local item. We can all do our part to display not only American pride, but support for the people who help make it great.
We have the freedom of choice.

Social Connections

Upcoming Trade Shows

Mar 28 – 30

Fair Trade Federation Conference and Expo

Long Beach, CA USA
Apr 27 – 28

Noted: The Greeting Card Expo

San Francisco, CA USA
Apr 28 – 30

One of a Kind Spring Show

Chicago, IL USA
May 9 – 10

Surtex 2023

New York City, NY USA
Jun 21 – 27

Dallas Total Home & Gift Market

Dallas, TX USA
Jul 11 – 17

Atlanta Market

Atlanta, GA USA
Gift Shop Plus Winter 2023
Get one year of Gift Shop Plus in both print and digital editions for just $16.

Interested in reading the print edition of Gift Shop Plus?

Subscribe Today »

website development by deyo designs