Following a professional retail review by John Prescott (funded by Round 1 of the AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme) it was decided that the entrance and retail area was in need of assistance; retail therapy you could say. The shop was one area that was not reaching its full potential in our efforts to remain sustainable in these dark times and so the time was ripe for change.
Using John’s suggestions as a guide, we reviewed the retail area and settled on replacing the existing furniture with more contemporary fittings and looking more closely at the stock we sold. The old reception desk (which had served its purpose brilliantly for over 15 years) was dismantled and made way for a new streamlined desk, with drawers and display shelves and a bright glass fronted display. A new central display area was also brought in to replace the scarred pine furniture that had been standing there for so many years. Immediately the shop area took on a more contemporary feel. Existing dark wood bookcases were given a make-over, thanks to Ceri Pritchard’s artistic eye, and instantly looked like new furniture; stock areas were boxed in behind cheerful doors to remove the sense of clutter; cube book cases (which did not make any real attempt to sell our books) were replaced by slat-walling and modern acrylic stands which show the books off to their best advantage. Bright graphics of children enjoying the museum and shop were added to encourage younger visitors. The entrance area was also renovated. Posters were removed from the front door and a notice board provided outside. The door then had a contemporary graphic attached to the glass which was more in keeping with what was on display and encouraged visitors to come through the door. More vibrant museum, much less mausoleum in feel. The windows of the coffee shop were then decorated with a landscape graphic, showing what you can see from the view and so it was informing as well as interesting.
There are loads of things for purchase in the shop. There are works by local artists Alec Lewis, Harry Gardiner and Andrea Kelland; a superb range of greetings cards; a vast range of books ranging from poetry, children’s books, archaeology, photography and local history; a fine selection of postcards and prints including limited edition prints by Aneurin Jones and gifts galore! And with Christmas seemingly just around the corner (when did that happen?!?) why not call in and have a browse? You are always more than welcome.
HUGE thanks to the AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme funded by the Esmee Fairborn Foundation for their grant support with these projects.