Unique products from the V&A shop

Museum shop sales hit £100m last year

Rebecca Atkinson, 17.03.2013
Boost down to unique products
Museum and gallery shops generated sales of over £100m last year, according to research from the Association for Cultural Enterprises (ACE).

This commercial success is down to museum retailors ditching generic and homogenous products and being more creative, said John Stachiewicz, chairman of ACE.

This includes creating unique and relevant products to sell to visitors, as well as a better use of visual merchandising to attract customers.

Record high levels of heritage and museum or gallery attendance and arts engagement could also have support sales.

And venue hire as an alternative revenue stream has also helped museum shops boost sales and profits at a time when the wider retail sector continues to struggle. A Deloitte report produced in March found that four in 10 high street shops will close in the next five years.  

“Museum shops and galleries have risen to the challenges,” Stachiewicz said. “They don’t want to be part of a clone town full of the same retailers selling the same products so they continuously innovate to find new ways of engaging with customers, who will keep coming back. This approach seems to be paying off.”

Click here to read Museum Practice’s practical guide to raising income through retail