July 2013 / Industry Profile

Kendra Klink
Operations Director
Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum
Auburn, Indiana

What makes your store unique?
The Museum Store at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is unique in its ability to interpret the “stories” behind the Museum’s automotive history throughout the store and its products. With a specific museum collection focus of automobiles, it takes creativity and input to develop ideas, products, displays and an ambiance valued by the museum and the public.  Extensive use of the museum’s research archives has set its museum store apart from others.

It also creates products with input from the entire staff — from the curator and archivist and business manager to the events manager.

What is the most popular product you sell?
The most popular item we sell is our “It’s a Duesy” book. This souvenir book is priced to fit most budgets and offers a great compilation of the stories told throughout the museum. This product also includes a DVD that shows images of the collection and museum.

What are your top three retail tips?
Assemble a staff with great attitudes and stellar customer service skills. Guests who feel welcome and comfortable asking questions and shopping will likely purchase more. Immediate eye contact and acknowledgement that the customer has entered the building helps create a welcoming and warm environment.

Store presentation is key.  Even if you aren’t buying new products every month, make sure you move something around. Change displays. Make sure everything is tidy. Train your staff to look for imperfections like unfolded T-shirts or coffee mugs facing the wrong way. We have tasks for our part-time staff that include housekeeping items such as vacuuming rugs and dusting shelves.  Not only do these tasks give them pride and ownership of the store, but it keeps them accountable and busy throughout their shifts. These little “housekeeping” items make your store look presentable and professional.

Be knowledgeable about your products. Product knowledge can help sell items, even to guests who may not have anticipated purchasing anything. When you get a new product in, talk to your staff and volunteers who are working in and around the store about it. Let them know why the product is a part of the store.  Ensure that the staff and the display each draw the connection from the product to the story.






75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, Michigan 49345
616.887.9008
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