Just like most vegetables often have to be covered in cheese to be appetizing to children, an educational toy can only provide benefits if its appealing to kids. This is where specialty stores have great potential, as they often grab customers with their unique, fun and educationally relevant merchandise.
Consider this: Youre already playing to a captive audience in that they have come to your store to extend their experience and learn a bit more. Providing the customer opportunities to touch and interact with products inspires learning in a fun, friendly environment. This not only encourages the visitor to increase his or her knowledge, but will also hopefully increase your sales.
"We have had the best response to our Ball of Whacks as an educational item," said Lynn Araujo of U.S. Games Systems. "We did not specifically position it as an educational toy, but rather as
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Having extremely rare shark rays Sweet Pea and Scooter and powerful tiger sharks that can be up to 10 feet in length creates a unique experience for children and adults alike.
Having a gift shop as part of an attraction creates a unique opportunity, as Rebecca Etter, retail director for the Newport Aquarium, can attest. After wandering through 85 feet of acrylic underwater tunnels that wind their way through a 385,000- gallon tank, visitors to the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Ky., find themselves at the Newport Aquarium Gift Shop. The 5,000-square-foot store at the end of the tour contains a collection of inexpensive memorabilia, fun clothing, beautiful and unusual jewelry, attractive display items and, of course, a large collection of plush critters.
"We have a captured audience who wants to remember their visit and special time with friends and/or family," Etter said. "This can
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The successful retailer understands that the well designed retail environment is not merely a store but rather an experience. Its a tool of communication. When a customer crosses the threshold of the store, we want them to enter into another world our world. Once in our stores, we will speak to the customer through our architecture, floor fixtures, walls, graphics, interior decor and, most importantly, our merchandise. The way we position merchandise throughout the environment will determine how effectively we are communicating.
One of the challenges for all retailers is to create order out of chaos. A retail environment, with its many product offerings and visual stimuli, can be overwhelming and intimidating. If the space lacks organization, it will not promote a positive shopping experience. Organizing the merchandise and presenting it in a meaningful manner helps the customer make
The merchant, store designer and
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The Salvador Dali Museum, which maintains more than 2,000 pieces of works by the late Salvador Dali, boasts the worlds largest collection outside of Spain from this Spanish surrealist. Such a comprehensive compilation began long ago, in part, due to the lifelong efforts of A. Reynolds and Eleanor Reese Morse. Their collection went public years ago in Cleveland, Ohio. However, it gained world recognition when the Dali Museum opened its doors in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1982.
Dali was best known for his surrealist painting entitled "The Persistence of Memory," featuring bizarre clocks that seem to melt into the landscape. The Dali Museum offers an exciting and scholarly overview of Dali. "We study the artist and his prolific artistic accomplishments," said Dianne Birmingham, museum sales and merchandise director. "One visit will tempt the intellect and beckon subsequent visits," she added. Much like the art of its
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