Winter 2006
Healthy Bottom Line By Craig Guillot

Show Time

The hospital gift shop segment of the gift retail industry will have something extra special to look forward to at the next Washington Gift Show, according to Cate Salvatore, media manager for George Little Management. The show, scheduled for February 25-28 at the Washington Convention Center, will host Hospital Gift Shop Day for qualified hospital gift shop buyers. The day will include education, networking opportunities and special incentives.

The show will feature nearly 350 exhibitors of giftware, traditional and contemporary crafts, decorative and personal accessories, social stationery, greeting cards, gourmet products and foods, floral and garden accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, books, ethnic artifacts and folk art, ceramics, and more. Some 6,000 retailers are expected to attend.


The Gift Stop Shands Hospital

Since 1980, the Gift Stop has catered to hospital employees and patients at the University of Florida. Edwards estimates that at least 60 percent of her clientele are hospital employees. She characterizes her shop as a “mini department store.” She says that while managing a hospital gift shop is highly rewarding, it can be quite challenging, because merchandise must be turned quickly and the shop must cater to many types of customers.

The Gift Stop stocks a hefty selection of Gator merchandise along with rotating selections of themed gift lines. Edwards runs the stores with a staff of 12 paid employees and a handful of volunteers who work part-time. The Gift Stop is about 800 square feet and has an annual sales volume of $1 million.

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Manager: Sharon Edwards

Our Lady of Providence League Gift Shop

Founded in 1965, this 800-square-foot gift shop produces annual revenues of more than $600,000, according to Roberts. The shop’s highest-volume department is candy and snack sales to hospital staff. Roberts says the shop also does brisk business in the flower department, in general gifts and in apparel, including a nice selection of coats and jackets. Roberts manages the gift shop with a staff of three full-time employees, two part-timers and more than 30 volunteers who work up to four-hour shifts.

Providence Hospital, Southfield, MI
Manager: Mary Roberts

Shops at South Shore Hospital

With three gift shops on the premises, South Shore’s retail establishments cater to a diverse clientele with a wide range of merchandise. Perched in the main lobby of the hospital, the 700-square-foot Friendly Gift Shop features traditional hospital gift shop items for employees and visitors. The 250-square-foot Gentle Beginnings is located in the maternity unit and caters to the needs of nursing mothers with breast pumps, accessories, nursing bras and gifts for mother and baby. Located across from the emergency room in a 7,500-square-foot house, the Cottage Shop features a higher-end selection of gifts, clothing, accessories, furniture, jewelry and more.

South Shore Hospital, Weymouth, MA
Manager: Susan Noyes

Craig Guillot

Guillot is a freelance writer from New Orleans. He has written for a number of publications including STORES Magazine, The Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily and New Orleans City

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