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Services

We provide the following services:

Museum Store Assessment Program

The Museum Store Assessment Program is our most requested service. It is a proven, cost-effective way for you to take your store to the next level of profitability and visitor satisfaction. As part of the process we incorporate an extensive checklist to unearth those areas with the greatest potential for improvement. The Assessment draws on our hands-on experience and a broad database of benchmarks to produce detailed prioritized recommendations applicable to inventory management and other financial factors, product selection, merchandising and display, store layout and fixture functionality, customer service, operations, ecommerce and more. The assessment includes:

  • Branding
  • Customer experience
  • Customer service and selling
  • Display
  • Ecommerce
  • Employee and volunteer management
  • Expense management
  • Financial performance
  • Fixture layout and foot-traffic patterns
  • Inventory control
  • Lighting
  • Management and staffing
  • Merchandise buying
  • Merchandising
  • Mission related product selection
  • Operations
  • Retail pricing
  • Staffing levels

The typical six-step assessment (which will be customized to meet your unique needs) includes:

Step One
Completion of a pre-onsite meeting questionnaire. The questionnaire has been praised by many for its thorough and thought-provoking format.

"Our Shop coordinator commented to me a couple of times that filling it (the questionnaire) in gave her a whole new perspective."

"While working on the questionnaire I've already found it helpful in other aspects of what I do (for example, selecting product for an upcoming inaugural catalogue)."

Steps Two through Five are completed onsite.

Step Two
Onsite discussion of the questionnaire responses with those who participated in the completion of the questionnaire.

Step Three
Methodical and thorough review of the store using our proprietary Museum Store Review Checklist. Private meetings and interviews with store and museum personnel are conducted during this step.

Step Four
A discussion outline of initial observations and recommendations is prepared for use during the fifth step.

Step Five
The final onsite step is a joint discussion of our findings that is much more than just a critique. For every item noted, we will recommend a specific course of action.

Step Six
Our assistance doesn't end with the onsite segments of the assessment. A report, that can generally be described as a practical, high return-on-investment, workmanlike checklist of recommendations, can be prepared. We are also available via telecommunications to support you as you make changes.

Request Brochure or more information about the Museum Store Assessment Program.

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Museum Store Function, Layout and Design Planning and Assessments

If you want to increase revenue you must draw visitors into the store, focus their attention on strategically merchandised products and encourage them to linger.

Whether your store is still on the drawing board or about to undergo a facelift, for museums of all types and sizes, we can recommend layout options and functional fixture design ideas that will enhance the buying experience and increase sales. While our experience has been employed in many ways, we primarily assist museum clients to determine their merchandising, display and functionality needs and then help communicate those needs to the architect. We are also engaged directly by architects to assist with schematic design and design development.

Regardless of whether we are engaged by the museum or architect, we use the comprehensive Function, Layout and Design Checklist we have developed to make sure every critical component and the latest approaches to museum store retailing are considered. It is interesting to note that the most common lament we hear about this process is, "We should have brought you in sooner". Key segments of the checklist include:

  • Location and sizes for store, office, storage and other spaces
  • Location and design of the all-important cash-wrap
  • Merchandising of products that need to be inaccessible to the customer
  • Use of perimeter walls
  • Fixtures in general
  • First fixture
  • Special fixtures
  • Entry & egress
  • Foot-traffic patterns
  • Lighting, electrical, connectivity
  • Flooring
  • Signage
  • Security
  • Use of common area for retail

You don't need to be a retailing expert to implement these revenue-generating ideas in your store. Instead, we'll assist you from conception to completion.

Request Brochure or more information about the Museum Store Function, Layout and Design Planning and Assessments.

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Museum Store Management Coaching

Onsite and Via Telecommunications

Store management coaching focusing on critical revenue generating, profit increasing and visitor experience enhancing management skills.

  • Financial management
  • Benchmarks
  • Inventory management
  • Use of merchandise buying plan/Open To Buy (OTB)
  • Product selection criterion
  • Retail pricing strategy
  • Practical data collection
  • Staff management
  • Customer experience
  • Pro-active selling
  • Merchandising and display
  • Policies and procedures
  • Marketing
  • Signage

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International Museum Store Consulting

If North Americans make up an important segment of your visitation we can help you integrate product selection, merchandising and display, and customer service concepts favored by these visitors into your store. In addition to generating more revenue the successful introduction of these elements will greatly enhance the visitor experience and lead to favorable comments about your museum and the retail experience.

Request more information about International Museum Store Consulting.

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Business Plan Preparation

We can prepare or assist you to prepare a business plan for your new or changing museum store. Along with your special requirements, the typical issues addressed include:

  • Summary Assessment
    • Market
    • Goals
    • Plans
  • Strategic Development
    • Merchandising and Cross-selling
    • Marketing
    • Goals and Plans
  • Programming
    • Understanding the Visitor/Customer
    • Layout, Design and Fixturing Considerations
    • Merchandise Categories
    • Merchandising
    • Operational Issues (Management, Support Personnel, Logistics, Equipment)
    • Financial Projections and Benchmarks
    • Continuing Education
    • Community Outreach
  • Future Directions
    • Role of Retailing
    • Proprietary Product Development
    • Branding
    • E-commerce
    • Mail Order
    • Licensing
    • Wholesale
    • Additional On and Off-Campus Sites
  • Implementation Strategy

Contact Us to request more information about our Business Plan Preparation Services.

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Programming, Strategic and Master Planning

We provide programming, strategic and master planning services for new and existing stores in museums of all types and sizes. The process identifies current needs and focuses on flexibility to accommodate vision, mission, product selection and other changes in the future. The goal is to suggest highest and best use based on visitor and destination store customers for bricks and mortar stores, and potential ecommerce, wholesale and catalog sales.

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Museum Store Customer Service and Sales Training

"You Are the Store"

There is a direct correlation between the quality of your customer service and the sales in your museum store. If your salespersons are attentive to the needs of your museum visitors and use customer service oriented sales techniques, you will see an increase in sales and visitor satisfaction.

The You Are the Store customer service and sales training workshop is a three-step, interactive presentation. The first step highlights the importance of store revenues to the financial health of the museum and the prominent role of salespersons in this process.

The customer service segment establishes several customer service principles as a basis for the training. The participants are drawn into the process by soliciting their own good and disappointing customer service experiences.

The third, all-important selling segment, highlights selling as an important component of great customer service. In this segment, five simple selling steps are presented that will help your salespeople help visitors buy what they want, increasing sales and visitor satisfaction.

This workshop is presented on-site, in your museum, using products and actual examples from your store. Throughout the workshop, suggestions are customized to blend with the environment of the museum.

Contact Us to request more information about the You Are The Store Customer Service and Sales Training Workshop.

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Ecommerce Consulting

Ecommerce, the use of the internet to sell to, and stay in contact with, 'visitors' around the world, may be right for your museum store. Executed properly, it can lead to increased sales and greater visibility for your museum.

We are here to help you choose products that are appealing to internet buyers, develop mission related, proprietary product that is appropriate for Internet sales, and plan operations in anticipation of your success.

We are not website developers. Our goal is to increase your chances for success, in this incredibly competitive atmosphere, by helping you have the information needed by the website developer ready, and to make certain you are prepared to efficiently fulfill orders.

Contact Us to request more information about our Ecommerce Consulting services.

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Museum Store General Consulting

Our general museum store consulting allows you to direct the focus of the consultation to areas in which you have concerns and/or questions. These areas my include product selection, operations, inventory levels, customer service and selling, store layout, retail pricing, financial performance — any area of anxiety.

The consultation would begin after you have completed a nine page questionnaire. The goal of the questionnaire is not only to gather and organize facts about your store operation and relationship to your institution, but also to focus attention on critical profitability factors.

After you have given further thought to your needs, we will be pleased to provide you with an all inclusive fee proposal for an approach that best meet your requirements.

Request Brochures or more information about the Museum Store General Consulting services.

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