museums&MORE Summer 2009
Editor’s Letter

Although it’s not the most intellectual movie to quote, I distinctly remember a line in What About Bob” from Bill Murray where he decides to “take a vacation from his problems.” For a (very) brief period of time, Bob decides to leave the stress and worry all behind him.

Considering the current state of our economy, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea. There has always been competition for consumer cash, and now independent retailers aren’t just competing against each other, but also against big-box stores, the Internet and the gas pumps.

Many of your replies to the Store Room question in this issue regarding the biggest challenge the retail industry currently faces directly addressed this — higher shipping costs and gas prices competing for what discretionary dollars people are spending. It adds up to tough times for us all. Unfortunately, when the cost of day-to-day living increases, it’s often the fun vacations and field trips that fall to the wayside for the average customer.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Even though times are tight, people are still looking for an escape from their problems in the form of some type of vacation. Maybe they’re staying closer to home and exploring the museums and attractions they never got around to seeing; maybe they’re only taking one trip instead of two. Whatever it is they’re doing, you can bet they’re going to try and make the most of it. Travelers are always going to want to take a piece of the experience home — which is exactly what your retail store can deliver.

So while the Internet and discount stores may prove tempting to cash-strapped shoppers, nothing can replace the personal service and hands-on shopping experience they receive in your store or the memories they can take with them — and the perfect frame or album to put them in. While the best things in life aren’t things at all, it never hurts to play up the fact that their visit is a unique excursion and that the gift they’re looking at can serve as the perfect reminder for years to come.

Whether your store is in an airport, a national park or a children’s museum the retail message stays the same. Now more than ever, retailers must be focused on unparalleled customer service and offer more than just a product — they must offer an experience.

Even More
This holds true not just for retail stores, but magazines as well. There are so many ways that people receive information today that it can be hard to prioritize your resources. While a hard copy of our publication delivered to your mailbox every three months is certainly something we hope you look forward to, we wanted to offer you an extension of that experience you could access any time.

So, we have recently launched our new Web site ( and monthly e-newsletter, &More;, to supplement the information you receive from us. Each edition will hit your e-mail inbox right about mid-month and will include a profile of an industry member, industry news, a trade show calendar, a question of the month and a selection of featured products.

Please let me know what you think and what you would like to see in the future. In fact, with trade show season under way, let me know what products you’re finding and what trends are making their way to the forefront. While they may not seem like a vacation or a chance to “escape from your problems,” trade shows are a great chance to reach out to others in the industry and make new connections (and buy a few souvenirs!).

If you see me around, stop and introduce yourself, as I always love meeting new people and putting a face with a name.”

Social Connections

🌻 Specialty Retailers and Independent Garden Centers, unite! 🌻 Get ready for The Garden Center Show on August 6-7, 2024. Connect with fellow professionals, learn from industry leaders in an updated education program, and discover the newest trends and products. Don't miss out on the chance to revitalize your business with local garden center tours! Registration is FREE. Reserve your spot today. 🔗 Register here:🌿 Learn more: #gardencentershow #networking #RetailStrategies #specialtyretailers #gardencenter #giftshops #retailmanufacturers ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Gift Shop Plus Winter 2024
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