It was Andy Warhol who said: “I’ve never made the separation between, say, the museum and the hardware store. I mean, I enjoy both of them, and I want to combine the two.” With that quote he put retail and exhibitions together, joining them as one experience, rather than seeing them as separate entities.
Successful museum and gallery retail spaces do the same. They complement the exhibition experience. They provide an opportunity for consumers to get close and personal with prints and souvenirs, thousands of objets d’art, home accessories, books and jewellery. They provide an opportunity to step over the metaphorical rope and make that exhibition experience their own.
But how do they achieve this? What sets an inspirational retail space apart from a dusty old corner by the exit filled with outdated books and dog-eared postcards?
Ecommerce has provided salvation over the past year, but as we look forward to visitor attractions re-opening, people’s interest will need to be piqued once more, and inspiring retail outlets go a long way to achieve this. They offer an opportunity to enhance the visitor experience, act as a marketing tool, and swell the coffers.