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Cornwall Museums Partnership

Pop your shop: the secret to amazing museums shops

Museum shops are one of the best ways to generate income while, at the same time, promoting your organisation. Whatever the size of your museum, a museum shops is a great way to help you grow and diversify your income.

Tip: set up your shop at the very entrance of your building. That way people can see it from the street, be tempted in, hopefully spend some money, and leave without any fuss! A positive impression of the museum from your shop will encourage a return visit to the museum itself.

Whether you already have a shop or are thinking of setting one up, there is plenty for you to think about to make the most of your resources – no matter how small. . Think creatively about what you want to stock, your price range, the size of your space, etc. Look at museums similar to yours that run a successful museum shop for ideas, as well as really successful and inspirational museum and high street shops – there are always little tricks that they use that you can borrow.

You might also want to take set up your own online museum shop. Online shops are fantastic opportunities to grow sales around the country – even worldwide. Larger museums have been really successful with online shops (see: the British Museum, Royal Academy), and if you spend a bit of time looking at how they’re done it, you can see how you can not only grow your sales but engage people with your museum and its uniqueness. Try it on a pilot mode and see how it goes, you can start really small and grow. Remember: opportunities are endless!

Catalyst Training: Amazing Museum Shops

When: 12 September 2017

Where: Bedruthan Steps Hotel

This one day course is suited for museums who are starting to think about a shop and for those who already have one and want to see it flourish. We’ll be using the Bedruthan Steps shop as a case study for what can be achieved in a small space. You’ll learn about what’s essential when planning and managing a retail space and the important do’s and don’ts. For more information please contact Clare, Programme Manager, or Yiota, Programme Coordinator, on: 01209 500750, or yiota@cornwallmuseumspartnership. To book a place directly on our website, please visit:

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