Even animals get into the act at the Louisville Zoo Gift Shops By Abby Heugel, Managing Editor Even with the economy getting a bit back on track, retailers are still fighting for every consumer dollar out there. One way to do this is to offer unique items not found at every retail store. So what kind of items can set them apart? The answer for Kathy Kline, manager of the Louisville Zoo Gift Shops, is art created by the zoo animals and fair-trade, handmade products. It’s this combination that has brought in steady sales to the zoo’s newest retail location, the Nature’s Gift Shoppe. “In addition to two satellite gift shop carts on the grounds, we have three gift shops at the Louisville Zoo — the main shop, the Gorilla Forest Shop and the newest addition, the Nature’s Gift Shoppe,” Kline said. “Nature’s Gift Shoppe
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Full steam ahead for specialty museum store sales By Abby Heugel, Managing Editor What do trains, cockroaches and Jell-O have in common? Not a whole lot, I admit, but they do all serve as the focus for not only specialty museums, but also specialty museum shops. That means that although the retailers of these stores are stocking some traditional items on the shelves, they are also focusing on a niche — whether an object or a theme — that offers visitors that special, unique experience. An advantage is the people coming into the store are already an interested audience, as at least a mild sense of curiosity has drawn them to the museum, and the store itself. And while it may be tempting for retailers to play it safe and offer much of the same selection that can be found in any souvenir store, it’s
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Product, regardless of category, should have an element of utility to it especially in todays economy. With minimal discretionary dollars for consumers to spend in specialty stores, this makes it all the more important for retailers to focus on just that stationery and related products that are fun and functional, useful and unique.
Products that let the user take a bit of a break from the digital hype of today and write a letter, fill out a journal or keep a calendar as a year-long reminder of their purchase can be beneficial to retailers if marketed correctly.
Even though many people use a digital device to schedule appointments, we all use either a pen or a pencil at some point every day, whether planning our grocery list or to-do lists, said Melissa Schenkel of Vera Bradley. Its about making everyday items functional but with a
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