Issuu on Google+

www.MuseumStoreAssociation.org WINTER 2013

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$15

COOKING UP A

COOKBOOK 14

PREVENTING EMPLOYEE THEFT

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SOUVENIR BUYER’S GUIDE

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USING IMAGES IN SOCIAL MEDIA

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REPURPOSED FIXTURES


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Winter 2013

Museum Store helps nonprofit retail professionals operate more effectively, find sources of museum-quality products and contribute to the missions of their institutions.

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Volume 41

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Issue 4

Features

MSA STAFF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO

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JAMA RICE, MBA, CAE MEETINGS AND CONFERENCE MANAGER

JENNIFER ANDER SON

Souvenir Buyer’s Guide Browse our latest buyer’s guide and discover how to give your customers a lasting memory of their visit. BY APRIL MILLER

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

KATHY CISAR

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MEMBERSHIP MANAGER

CANDRA TALLEY SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

ADRIANA HERALD

BY CATHERINE NEWTON

DIRECTOR OF LEARNING

ANDREA MILLER ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Cooking up a Cookbook Find out what other museum store managers learned during the process of publishing a cookbook.

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Seat at the Table Develop the leadership skills you need to become an integral part of your senior management team. BY ANITA DUREL

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To Curate or to Create? Learn best practices for using images in social media. BY KIMBERLEE RILEY

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Idea Gallery: Repurposed Fixtures Your peers are great at giving a new twist to something old or borrowed or recycled. Take a look at these imaginative display fixtures!

LEIGH RUSSO

SKIES AMERICA PUBLISHING COMPANY DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE SERVICES

JACQUELYN MERRILL EDITOR

REBECCA OSTER BACH ADVERTISING

MARY PETILLO & DIANA GROSSARTH PRODUCTION MANAGER

CINDY PIKE

Departments

CIRCULATION

ALLEN NELSON

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President’s Message Change is knocking—answer the door and get involved!

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Executive Director’s Message MSA’s bright future is yours to create.

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Just for Vendors Developing strong relationships between museum store managers and vendors.

HOW TO CONTACT US E-MAIL: amiller@museumstoreassociation.org Please provide your full name, location and institution or company name. MAIL: Museum Store Association 3773 E Cherry Creek North Dr, Ste 755 Denver, CO 80209-3804 www.MuseumStoreAssociation.org Phone: (303) 504-9223 Fax: (303) 504-9585 ADVERTISING: Mary Petillo: (503) 726-4984 maryp@skies.com; Diana Grossarth: (503) 726-4986 dianag @skies.com Museum Store magazine (ISSN 1040-6999) is published quarterly by the Museum Store Association.

44 26

BY SUE SCHOPP

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Postmaster: Send address changes to Museum Store Association 3773 E Cherry Creek North Dr, Ste 755 Denver, CO 80209-3804

© 2013 Museum Store Association Inc. All rights reserved. Except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review, no part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from MSA. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Museum Store Association. Printed in the USA. MSA and Museum Store Association are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Financial Management Learn how the right amount of inventory will maximize profits. BY ANDREW ANDONIADIS

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Merchandise Planning Initial markup is the cornerstone to your pricing strategy. BY PAUL ERICKSON

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Strategic Management Proactive steps you can implement to discourage employee theft. BY TRACI RYLANDS

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Advertiser Index

COVER IMAGE: PHOTOGRAPHY BY RENATA KOSINA. COOKBOOKS COURTESY OF THE ST. LOUIS ART MUSEUM AND THE SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN.

WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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| president’s message |

Change Is Knocking ANSWER THE DOOR AND GET INVOLVED!

The core purpose of MSA is to advance the success of nonprofit retail and of the professionals engaged in it. An international association, MSA is governed by an eight-member board of directors.

BY STACEY STACHOW

s I stand in my store and look around, I think about how I can refresh the look and re-merchandise the products. I like to move things around; shake things up to add some interest. I’m constantly working to improve upon what I’ve currently got on display. I think this is basically the same concept that is happening at MSA right now. You keep hearing us say this is a new day at MSA and that this new day means change. You may have seen some of this change reflected on your renewal forms with our new membership dues structure and enhanced benefits. And did you know that MSA is giving all chapters $5 from each membership in their region to help chapters program and plan their meetings? Change is coming in Houston at MSA 2014, where MSA will launch a new certificate program. We also have changed the format of the conference by having the MSA Expo first with a grand opening reception and our learning sessions—many with new formats and an emphasis on higher level content and big-picture topics—on the backside. What excites me most is the Product Development Gallery, right on the expo floor, where institutions will showcase their products alongside all of our Vendor Affiliates. And speaking of vendors, I want to remind everyone that our Vendor Affiliates are an integral part of our association. Please invite them to your chapter meetings, receptions and get-togethers. Let’s face it, without them, we could not be successful! Of course, without us, they could not be successful either! It is a true partnership in the best possible sense of the word. Finally, I’d also like to point out that more than ever before, MSA is reaching out to our community with additional volunteer opportunities and plenty of chances to truly become involved in the future of the association and of the industry. These opportunities include a number of different committees and groups, such as the Finance Committee, which is dedicated to assisting MSA with its finances and investments, and an MSA Conference City Committee for each year’s new conference location. We recently filled the new Chapter Policies & Procedures Task Force with an energetic group of members from each chapter to help us look at the chapter structures and by-laws. There are many more changes to come, but one thing that I know won’t change is the deep commitment and passion that MSA members and affiliates have for the success of the nonprofit retail industry. There’s no other business quite like ours, and no other community that I’d rather be a part of. But you don’t have to wait for the knock on the door. Go to the MSA website, fill out the online volunteer application and let MSA know what strengths you have to offer and what you are interested in helping with! You’ll be glad you did.

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Stacey Stachow Stacey.Stachow@wadsworthatheneum.org 4

MUSEUM STORE | WINTER 2013

BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT

STAC EY STACHOW WADSWORTH ATHENEUM MUSEUM OF ART HARTFORD, CONN.

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT

B ARB ARA LEN HARDT THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS WASHINGTON, D.C.

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT

D AV ID A. D UDDY DECORDOVA SCULPTURE PARK AND MUSEUM LINCOLN, MASS.

TREASURER

G LORIA STE RN MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY TWO HARBORS, MINN.

DIRECTORS AT LARGE

MIC HAEL HIGDON NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM WASHINGTON, D.C. -AND-

MARK W IG GIN S CIA MUSEUM/EMPLOYEE ACTIVITY ASSN. MCLEAN, VA.

AFFILIATE ADVISOR

D AV ID HOWE LL DAVID HOWELL & COMPANY BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y.


WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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| executive director’s message |

Pick Your Palette MSA’S BRIGHT FUTURE IS YOURS TO CREATE.

s you may know, MSA has a staff of eight people. This talented group has expertise in nonprofit management, marketing, membership programs, event planning, database management, education, financial management and other areas important to the business of operating an association. Through outsourcing projects that are not mission-critical and with the help of several contractors, the MSA staff is able to implement many tactical steps that help the board turn the association from the red to the black and contribute to a bright future for the organization. But we can’t achieve true success without you. Your board president has been suggesting that members, vendors and others with a vested interest in the future of MSA volunteer their time and talent. The choice is yours: short-term projects, long-term committees, organizing goodie bags at conference, writing articles and blogs—take whatever interest you have and package it with the skills and expertise you wish to offer. You might have observed many MSA volunteer requests during this year. There are a couple of truths when it comes to the importance of having volunteers involved in the organization: • The MSA staff, while very capable, don’t face the same daily challenges you do and, therefore, don’t have answers to the questions and issues that store managers and vendors in nonprofit retailing face. The staff is great at running an association. • When communicating with our members and stakeholders, it is important to use your language to

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MUSEUM STORE | WINTER 2013

| BY JAMA RICE

present content in a way with which you are familiar. MSA’s products and programs are more valuable to you if they have your handprint on them. MSA is in the midst of huge change. I call it a “reinvention.” Not only does MSA need volunteers to help us accomplish all that needs to be done, MSA also needs people who can help MSA communicate in a way that is meaningful (and interesting) to its stakeholders. We need the output of the many reinvention projects and the details to be thoroughly thought through. While conference call conversations are helpful in understanding the challenges you face, right now MSA needs more—it needs tangible results from those conversations. I’ve had the opportunity to be out of the office quite a bit this year—in a handful of your institutions and visiting with MSA Vendor Affiliates at a few gift shows. I have had a chance to talk to some really smart and talented people who are passionate about this industry and MSA as an organization; people who “get” what is unique about nonprofit retailing. I’ve seen up close when I’m standing in your storage rooms, by your overcrowded desks and in your booths at tradeshows just how very time-challenged you are, how much you have on your plates, how hard it is to imagine adding one more thing to your already packed days, weeks and months. I also have come to believe with my very analytical and rational brain— supported by my fascination with every garden, museum, historical home, national park, library and the like that I’ve visited this year—that this unique niche in the retailing world needs a recommitted MSA

to ensure nonprofit retailing continues to be a growing and vibrant industry and a special place for consumers, especially for visitors to your institution. MSA owes you some assistance with your efforts to contribute. We’ve identified shorter-term projects so you don’t have to commit all of your free time for an unforeseeable future. MSA’s new volunteer handbook helps answer frequently asked questions and provides an orientation to the association’s structure and processes. Mentoring connections between seasoned volunteers and those interested in getting involved are encouraged. The purpose of committees and task forces are clearly stated as well as objectives and expectations. If you can help MSA, its board, its staff and the members and stakeholders who aren’t able to offer their time and talent right now, then please, raise your hand when MSA asks for help. Know that your volunteer efforts will shape the future of the association, and as such, those efforts must be our best efforts. Offer imaginative and actionable suggestions for MSA’s future. There are a lot of colors to choose from in our palette of experiences…pick your most vibrant and help paint MSA’s bright future. The future is always beginning now. —Mark Strand, poet

Jama Rice, MBA, CAE jrice@museumstoreassociation.org


WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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| just for vendors |

Can You Relate? DEVELOPING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MUSEUM STORE MANAGERS AND VENDORS. Adapted from an article originally published in the spring 2010 issue of Museum Store magazine by Sue Schopp, copywriter and marketing consultant. useum store managers and buyers rely on vendors to provide quality products for their stores and developing a good relationship benefits everyone involved. If you’re wondering what the “other side” really wants you to know about working with them, here are a few tips:

M

Suggestions for vendors from museum store managers:

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Know the museum so that you can identify what products might be of interest to the buyer. Museum stores sell products that relate to the museum’s collections. The little plush dinosaur that’s a hit at a natural history museum is unlikely to be appropriate for a fine arts museum. Study the institution’s website for pertinent information about their collections, mission, special exhibitions and product assortments, including price ranges and styles. Then, edit your lines and make your sales pitch to relate to their specific needs. Familiarize yourself with the store before making any calls. Look at the store’s website in advance to get an idea of what products they might be interested in carrying. And, when you go to call on the manager, spend a few minutes in the actual store first to see what products might make sense in the store while at the same time reducing the time spent showing products that compete directly with others that have been previously selected. Know your products and show samples. Make sure you know the features and benefits of your products, even if you just got the line. Samples are very important to museum store buyers, as well. Make sure to carry at least one piece of every line.

Suggestions for museum store managers from vendors:

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MUSEUM STORE | WINTER 2013

Put sufficient information about your store and its products on your museum’s website. Help vendors do their research by providing information on your institution’s (or store’s) website. If there’s little or no information about your store on the site, put together a brief summary that you can send to vendors who inquire. Indicate your desired price range. Sharing information about your pricing preferences helps vendors match your needs with appropriate merchandise. Provide feedback. Vendors want to hear about the success, or lack thereof, of their products in your store. If a vendor has taken the time to provide free samples, or you’ve just started carrying their products, take a moment to provide some feedback so they can better tailor products to your needs in the future.


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FALL 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Inventory Management THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF INVENTORY WILL MAXIMIZE PROFITS.

he controlling of inventory, resulting in increased profits, is probably the most important reason to address inventory management. Nearly every museum I know could use as much money as they can muster for a host of projects. Inappropriately high levels of inventory rob the museum of incremental funds and can put a strain on the overall financial soundness of some museums.

T

| BY ANDREW ANDONIADIS

When done right and consistently, the calculation of an OTB will tell you how much more to buy when sales are better than expected. More importantly, however, it will help you slow down buying when sales are less than projected and inventory is growing too big. The most common reason our store assessments uncover for disappointing museum store results is having too much inventory sitting in the back room tying up financial resources

will take some time, but once you get into a routine of data collection and calculation, the time commitment is minimal and nothing compared to the benefits. Most point-of-sale systems include an OTB module as part of their software, further reducing the required effort. The best way to calculate a comprehensive OTB is to do one for every product category and amalgamate them into one for the store as a whole.

Benefits of the 80/20 Rule

ISTOCKPHOTO.COM / © JIANYING YIN

When allocating inventory dollars remember the critical 80/20 rule: approximately 80 percent of revenue is driven by just 20 percent of the products. As a result, it’s important your core products are always in stock. When you’re out of these products you’re not just out of an item, you’re out of a product with a disproportionate impact on revenue and with the real potential of disappointing repeat and destination store customers. So attention to this rule is about

Use of an Open-To-Buy The primary tool for controlling inventory is the consistent use of a merchandise buying plan, usually known as an Open-to-Buy or OTB. This is the most important financial tool for nonprofit retail of all kinds and sizes. First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what an OTB is. It is a disciplined mathematical approach to making sure you keep your inventory levels in balance with your projected and actual sales. Recognizing that it helps to control cost of goods, the largest expense category in any retail store, summarizes the importance of this tool. 10

MUSEUM STORE | WINTER 2013

Beware, if you don’t keep up with the work associated with high turnover you may lose sales because the most popular items fall out of stock. while slowly deteriorating in value. Some people don’t use an OTB because they feel it doesn’t apply to their product lines or because they think their store is too small. I have yet to come across a product mix or store that couldn’t use an OTB. Sometimes the OTB needs to be adjusted to reflect a unique situation, but one can be designed for any set of circumstances. Others don’t use an OTB because they think it will take too much time and recordkeeping. Sure, the first couple calculations

overall inventory levels and the product selection within the inventory.

Impact on Storage Space Another advantage of a proper inventory level is striking a balance with storage capacity. Of course storage capacity has to flex with ebbs and flows of inventory, especially proprietary and custom products, but inappropriate inventory levels can make demands on storage space that have ramifications well beyond retail. Every museum


department has space needs, but using an extraordinary amount of storage space because inventory has not been controlled properly can be a particularly contentious circumstance.

Consignment The management of products sold on consignment can help alleviate the stress on inventory dollars. But consignment comes with its own burdens, including paperwork, sometimes difficult interactions with artists and responsibility for unsold items. If you’re not sure about the salability or popularity of a product, especially higherpriced products, a 50/50 consignment split can help you build sales experience with limited inventory investment risk.

Calculating Inventory Turnover Ratio Calculating the inventory turnover ratio (turns) will help you control inventory levels. “Turns” is really a measure of how hard your inventory dollars are working, i.e.,

how often each inventory dollar is used per year to buy products. To calculate this ratio in the most popular manner you need two numbers: 1. Annual Cost of Goods Sold 2. Average Inventory at Cost If you take two inventories a year, average them. If you take only one inventory a year you should average it with the inventory taken at the same time the previous year. In any case, be true to yourself. Don’t use an inventory taken when the stock on hand is extremely low, which will result in an artificially high number of turns. Similarly, don’t discount your performance by using a large inventory number, perhaps overly affected by the inventory for a special exhibit, resulting in an artificially low number of turns. Inventory (1) Annual Cost of Goods Sold Turnover = (2) Average Inventory at Cost Ratio Example: Inventory $240,000 Turnover = = 2.0 Turns $120,000 Ratio

In general, the more turns the better. High turns mean you are using your inventory dollars efficiently, thus reducing the need for cash, your stock looks fresher and you probably need less storage space. On the other hand, rapid turnover can put a strain on personnel who need to process more purchase orders and receiving documents and deal with all the activity associated with frequent deliveries. Beware, if you don’t keep up with the work associated with high turnover you may lose sales because the most popular items (remember the 80/20 rule) fall out of stock. As with the OTB, this number can be calculated for the store as a whole or by department. Andrew Andoniadis is the principal in Andoniadis Retail Services, a consulting firm that has specialized in revenue-generating strategies for museum stores for 21 years. He can be reached at (503) 629-9279, Andrew@MuseumStoreConsult.com or www.MuseumStoreConsult.com.

WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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MERCHANDISE PLANNING

Initial Markup

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ECHE © XEB .COM /

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at the point of sale. One expert thought the term began in the jewelry business. Another thought more closely follows the dictionary definition of the word, which is a stone at the top of an arch that locks the other pieces in place. I suppose this makes sense since 50 percent of a keystoned item is cost and the remaining half is markup. Regardless of origin, keystone pricing refers to a percentage markup applied to a product’s cost, although it is becoming an outdated term due to rising markups.

PHOTO

ne question I am repeatedly asked by retailers is how to increase maintained margin. Several answers readily come to mind, the most obvious being to avoid overbuying and therefore reduce the margin-eroding markdowns that accompany such a practice. Another way of increasing maintained markup is to find ways to increase initial markup. Let’s make sure we are all speaking the same language. When I say initial markup, I am referring to the markup percentage placed on the goods when they are received from the manufacturer. Maintained markup is what is left after taking into account the cost of the markdowns. Stated differently, maintained markup is the difference between net sales and the gross cost of the merchandise sold. Gross margin is the difference between net sales and the net cost of the merchandise sold. Total merchandise costs include the cost of the goods, freight inward, any workroom costs and any adjustments for earned discounts. It is clearly a different number than maintained markup. Having the correct initial markup is the cornerstone to achieving the desired maintained markup. Have you ever wondered what the determining factors for initial markup are? Why do we double the cost? What does the term “keystone markup” mean and where did it originate? My quest into the origin of “keystone markup” did not yield any definitive answers. One source at the National Retail Federation seemed to think that there was an actual “markup key” in the early days of cash registers. This practice predated individually ticketed items, and pricing was oftentimes handled

| BY PAUL ERICKSON

ISTOCK

THE CORNERSTONE TO YOUR PRICING STRATEGY.

Competitive pressures, changes in operating expenses and availability of promotional goods all come into play when deciding on a markup goal. In my work as a retail consultant, I continually ask retailers to define their initial markup. The answers are quite interesting and run the gambit from doubling the cost and adding $1 or $2 dollars to a multiplier of 2.2 or 2.3, as an example. These answers over time have led me to the conclusion that most retailers truly can’t explain what initial markup was intended to cover. There are three areas that initial markup must satisfy: 1) desired net profit, 2) operating expenses and 3) markdowns. Outlined below is a formula for determining initial markup given the objectives above.

IMU =

(desired net profit percent + operating expense percent + markdown percent ) 100 + the markdown percent

Example: Let’s say that our net profit goal is 7 percent, operating expenses are

40 percent and markdowns are 18 percent of sales. Given the formula to the left, the initial markup percent would have to be 55 percent to cover the markdowns, pay the overhead and still contribute 7 percent to the bottom line. If the store average is, say, 52 percent on average, net profit would decrease to 3.4 percent right from the start given the example above. If you do the math, that is nearly a 50 percent reduction in profit. To restate the message, initial markup is directly related to net profit. You must begin with enough markup in the beginning in order to have something left at the end. It is a good practice for all stores to review pricing practices on a regular basis. Competitive pressures, changes in operating expenses and availability of promotional goods all come into play when deciding on a markup goal. Are you making markup decisions based on what a product will sell for or what you paid for it? One way to avoid falling into the trap of cost-based


pricing can be done when buyers are at market. The best time to determine what the actual selling price will be is at the time the order is written. In my previous retail career, I would often have our buyers decide what they thought they could sell a certain item for prior to knowing the cost. Once we knew the cost, we would make a decision to buy or pass the item. Basing the retail price around the intrinsic value of the merchandise instead of its cost helped us to increase our initial markup. Perhaps this strategy would work for your store as well. Paul Erickson is the Senior Vice President, Client Services, of RMSA Retail Solutions. Widely recognized for his talents as a retail educator, Paul has conducted seminars throughout North America on topics that include fundamentals of retail merchandising, strategies of merchandise planning, the effect of computers on bottom-line profits and what independent retailers can learn from franchises.

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STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

Preventing Employee Theft PROACTIVE STEPS YOU CAN IMPLEMENT TO DISCOURAGE THEFT.

eing vigilant in preventing customer theft is a common challenge for museum store managers. But the person most likely to be walking out of the store with an unpaid item may be standing right beside you: one of your own staff. According to an annual survey based on more than 2.8 million employees conducted by loss prevention and inventory control consulting firm Jack L. Hayes International, one out of every 40 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2012. On a per case average, dishonest employees steal approximately 5.5 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($715.24 vs. $129.12). Museum store managers may think that because their store is not a traditional retail outlet and is attached to a cultural institution, these statistics don’t apply to them. Not so, says Principal and CEO Stevan Layne of Denverbased Layne Consultants International. And unlike shoplifters, employees tend to steal more expensive merchandise.

| BY TRACI RYLANDS

ISTOCKPHOTO.COM / © FERTNIG

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thoroughly screen job applicants before you even hire them. This means going beyond doing a basic criminal background check. “Most applicants probably don’t have anything on their record,” Layne explains. “You have to contact their previous employers and references. Over half the states have passed legislation now that allows employers to release past employee information without

The process of reporting theft, confronting violators and proceeding for prosecution, as well as taking personnel actions, needs to be thoroughly explained and discussed with all staff. “Employee theft is significant,” he says. “As opposed to a shoplifter, when employees steal, they go for the big ticket items.” What proactive steps can museum store managers take to prevent and discourage employee theft?

Strong Employee Screening Is Critical The first step is taking the time to 14

MUSEUM STORE | WINTER 2013

penalty. In the past, employers were afraid of being sued if they did that.” Layne advises requiring applicants to sign a waiver that says the store has permission to contact previous employers for information. This acts as a message to prospective employees that you will be thoroughly looking into their employment history. “If they won’t sign that waiver,” he says, “don’t hire them.”

Make Inspection Routine The idea of inspecting your employees’ purses or bags whenever they enter or exit the building may sound like an invasive practice. However, some larger museums are already doing this with their regular staff to prevent theft of money or museum property. “Many museums do package inspection for staff leaving the building. Very few do incoming inspections for staff, and for museum stores it’s probably not practical (the incoming inspection),” Layne says. “If the museum is performing an objective outgoing inspection for all employees, and museum store employees leave through the designated staff entry/exit point, that may be sufficient.” While managers may balk at doing this with their employees, Layne says that once this practice is put into place it becomes habit. The practice also sends a strong signal to staff that the museum takes theft seriously and will not tolerate it. “If the museum does not have this practice, then the store should consider it,” Layne suggests.


Maintain Strong Practices to Discourage Theft Another action managers can take is conducting frequent inspections of their inventory to determine if employee theft is taking place. “The inventory process for museum stores should emphasize conducting inventories on incoming shipments to determine that items in the process of being received and placed into inventory actually get there,” Layne says. “If your numbers are off, something is wrong. These inspections let your employees know they’re not going to get away with taking something because you’re paying attention to it.” Keeping an eye on employee theft goes beyond what’s on display in the store. What’s happening in your cash register should also be strongly monitored. Some routine practices concerning the cash drawer that are the norm in traditional retail stores are often forgotten by museum stores. That includes having a controlled procedure for who will handle the money, who deposits it at the bank, etc., and documenting every step of that process. Store managers need to establish a paper trail for all money transfers. “Many stores aren’t doing any checking at all. They have no paper trail,” Layne explains. “So it can be months down the road when they realize they even have a shortage. By then, it’s too late. ”

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Have a Detailed Written Policy in Place One of the most critical actions a store manager can take to prevent theft, employee or customer, may take a lot of time. However, creating a detailed written policy on how the museum and the store will address theft can go a long way to prevent and deter it from taking place. Creating such a policy goes beyond the store manager to involve all aspects of the institution, Layne points out. “Your policy needs to state ‘removing or possession of museum or store property, without written authorization, will be considered theft. Persons committing

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717-259-6886 WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

the act of theft may be terminated from employment and/or prosecuted for theft.’ This policy applies to all museum staff, store staff, volunteers and others.” Layne adds that museum management needs to sign off on this policy. The process of reporting theft, confronting violators and proceeding for prosecution, as well as taking personnel actions, needs to be thoroughly explained and discussed with all staff. “A formal training session should be presented that includes store staff, museum security, front desk staff and upper-level management,” he adds. “Before reaching this stage, the process should be discussed with your staff counsel, local police and your prosecuting attorney’s office. You want to make sure that your policy is in compliance with the law and covers all bases in terms of potential liability.”

Zero Tolerance Is Key When these practices are followed, employees are put on notice that store management is serious about theft. However, if store managers choose not to prosecute when employee theft is proven to have taken place, employees get the message that the museum is not going to follow through on its policy. As a result, they won’t take it seriously. Many museums are reluctant to prosecute for employee theft because they fear it may result in potentially negative publicity for the institution or the store. Layne says store managers must push past this mindset and stick to their written policy. “Theft is theft,” Layne says. “It is a crime, period. If someone steals your wallet, would you give them a second chance? No. You can’t do that with employee theft either.” Traci Rylands lives in Atlanta, Ga., and last wrote the article “Beyond the Grave: There’s Nothing Scary About History and Nature” in the fall 2013 issue of Museum Store magazine. 16

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WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

17


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MUSEUM STORE | WINTER 2013

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S


BUYER’S GUIDE

SOUVENIRS Give Them Something to Remember You By

O

ffering visitors mementos of the places one has been, the events they’ve attended and the exhibits that engaged them creates sales opportunities for your store and longlasting memories for shoppers. Jamie Lapetina of Design Master Associates, Inc., finds that creative and funky items are selling best these days. “A fun, new idea or even an old favorite with a fun image or design,” says Lapetina, “sells better than the traditional souvenir.” At Harmony Designs, personalized aprons are a popular new product says Sherrill Franklin. “Increasingly customers look for ‘Made in USA’ items when selecting items to remind them of their visit to museums and historic sites,” Franklin adds. Local is the trend at Maple Landmark Woodcraft. “Guests buy souvenirs to remember their experience and something local heightens the experience and supports the local economy,” says Barb Rainville, Marketing Manager. “Buyers should consider shopping local and try to find unique items that they would be proud to own and avoid the ‘insert name here’ products.” Find ways to team with vendors for added benefit. American Heritage Chocolate, made by Mars Chocolate North America, launched a new website this October that includes a merchant

section that allows consumers to find retailer locations in the United States and Canada as well as purchase the product online through designated partner sites. Shops have the ability to create customized online identities and post upcoming instore events. Retail partners may also upload their own recipes (that use the chocolate) to the site. Sampling food and beverage items in-store can almost always boost sales. “Consumable products, especially coffees and teas, are a huge seller for souvenirs,” says Mary Romeo, Regional Retail Director of Baltimore Coffee & Tea Co., “especially if they are reminiscent of a city, region or something that created a memory for the customer. It’s an affordable selfindulgence or gift for someone back home.” Go bold with your displays, grouping multiple products with the same image or design. And don’t forget to spread the word when merchandise is in and ready to move. “Social media is a powerful tool to stay connected with previous visitors and to reach a new audience who may be interested in your site’s story,” says Gail Broadright, Director Mars Properties, Mars Chocolate North America. “Consistent Facebook content creation and advertising should be considered every year when allocating your marketing budget.” Browse our buyer’s guide as you contemplate your souvenir assortment.

BY APRIL MILLER WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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[1] American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic line of products— based on a recipe from the 1750s— that celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century. Available in individually wrapped single-serving chocolate sticks, individually wrapped bite-size chocolates in a keepsake muslin bag, chocolate blocks and a re-sealable canister with a bag of finely grated chocolate for drinking or baking. [2] The hexagon shaped Club Purse, the large round Potpourri Basket and the Traveler Purse are just a few of the many offerings from Baskets of Cambodia. The company produces original products that shine for their attention to quality, detail and craftsmanship. All items are made from naturally-foraged organic materials such as the Potpourri Basket woven from miniature rattan and palm leaf.

[3] Offer visitors teas featuring your museum, region or special exhibit with private label options from Baltimore Coffee and Tea. Choose from more than 100 flavors of tea, such as blueberry lemon, tropical paradise or peach melba. Use the back label of the handtied ribbon bag to tell the story of your museum. The company also roasts Fair Trade Organics for private label. Low minimums and good margins. [4] The stylish Ladies MA-1 Leather Jacket with Rosie print from Boeing Stores is made from superior-quality cowhide with a one-piece back and styled with a flexible rib-knit collar, cuffs and bottom. Two front pockets, one sleeve pocket as well as one inner-side pocket all hold valuables. The warm, polyester lining is printed with a Boeing archive image of an original Rosie the Riveter at work. [5] “Books of American Wisdom” is a

SOUVENIRS best-selling series from Applewood Books. The handsome, inexpensive hardcover books are wonderful souvenirs for those visiting an American museum of history or culture. Currently, 25 titles are available—such as “Paul Revere’s Ride” and Benjamin Franklin’s “The Way to Wealth”— with new books added annually. All are crafted in the United States using American-made materials. [6] Q3 Art creates hand-dyed anodized aluminum jewelry, mobiles and staymobiles that are artistic yet affordable. All work is handmade in the United States. The fashion-forward pieces (such as the Kuff bracelet and hand-forged color lily pin) feature streamline design and lovely color options. The artists have experience putting together collections of work for nonprofit retail shops that relate

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SOUVENIRS

prints, coasters, iPhone cases, puzzles, stickers and more. The company offers flexible minimums and quick turnarounds. All items are produced in the company’s New Jersey factory.

to special exhibitions, including custom color stories. [7] Museum Store Products specializes in custom product development and has been working with the industry for more than 25 years. Choose from more than 30 custom souvenir products (most retail for less than $20), such as floaty pens, keychains, matted

[8] Madison Bay Company’s souvenirs are fun for both children and adults. Historic American reproductions, such as whistles, compasses, spyglasses and much more are offered in compact, functional designs with customization

the show

available. New items made from cloth, glass, iron, brass, pewter and porcelain are introduced each year by the wholesaler based in East Berlin, Pa. [9] BeadForLife, a member of the Fair Trade Federation, offers one-of-a-kind and eco-friendly jewelry that is both vibrant and affordable and provides a lasting memory of a visitor’s experience. The nonprofit’s members— Ugandan women—turn recycled paper into beautiful, colorful beads. Shown is the Asali (“honey” in Swahili) necklace and the bestselling Sanyu (“joy” in Luganda) bangle and earrings. All pieces are finished with a signature BeadForLife tag. [10] Harmony Designs specializes in personalized made-in-USA souvenirs and other museum store products. Bookmarks, magnets, paperweights, mugs, tote bags, aprons, ornaments, jigsaw puzzles, mouse pads, rulers and more are created to express your unique mission. Our online website preview tool shows personalized designs before ordering. Free set-up, full-color printing, namedrop and logo. Perfect for museum stores, exhibits, donor/volunteer recognition and special events.

Visitors of Ambiente experience the world. Opportunities. Possibilities. International Trends. Presented by more than 4,700 exhibitors. In the Giving area, they visit a wealth of ideas for gifts. They visit new horizons. They visit the future. When will you visit the show? Information and tickets at an advance sale price at ambiente.messefrankfurt.com info@usa.messefrankfurt.com Tel. 770.984.8016

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[11] The Mini Cross-Stitch Sampler kit from Historical Folk Toys is a perfect souvenir for customers of historical homes and history museums, especially those that feature needlework and/or cross-stitch in their collection. A sampler was an important part of every colonial girl’s education! The kit, designed by owner Julie C. Harris, includes 6-inch x 6-inch 11-count Aida cloth, tapestry needle, embroidery floss, color graph, history and instructions. Frame not included. [12] Select from Rancho Park Publishing’s entire line of 3-D postcards, bookmarks, posters and greeting cards to

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create a personalized assortment. Incorporate your logo and promotional copy. Custom imprinting can match a special event, exhibition or collection. Choose from stock items on which to print your information or create 3-D cards using your own images. A perfect fit for planetariums and zoos, as well as space and science museums. [13] Maple Landmark Woodcraft specializes in American-made, low-cost, small-run custom keepsakes for every genre of museum gift shop with low set-up fees and minimums. All products are carefully crafted in Vermont by more than 40 woodworkers. Maple Landmark offers more than 1,000 wooden toys, gifts and games such as licensed artwork from Roger Tory Peterson, train whistles, piratethemed products, ornaments, NameTrains and Schoolhouse Natural products, just to name a few. [14] Bridge Brands Chocolate produces custom souvenir tins of all-natural, gourmet chocolate in branded packaging—choose a digital label or a screen-print. The company uses the finest-quality cocoa beans, imported from three continents. Long after the sweets have been enjoyed, the custom tin continues to be a keepsake. Bridge Brands Chocolate has worked with The San Diego Zoo, America’s Cup International Race Commission, Pebble Beach and many others. [15] Galison’s new Andy Warhol Desk Set (part of its spring 2014 assortment) makes a perfect souvenir for pop, modern art and Warhol enthusiasts. The set contains a lined journal, memo pad, Campbell’s soupcan pencil sharpener, a roll of stickers, a banana-shaped bookmark, “15 minutes of fame” sand timer, six-inch ruler, cow’s head eraser, and never-before published “self-copy” Xerox’s of Andy Warhol.

There’s a Solmate for everyone.

802-765-4177 www.socklady.com/msa WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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SOUVENIRS VILLAGE DESIGNS

Handmade in the USA

Organize pens, pencils, makeup brushes, paint brushes, knitting needles, etc...

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[16] New from Design Master Associates is an 11-ounce glazed ceramic mug ready for your full-color custom image. The classic design—with c-handle—includes a small, round label with museum information applied to the mug’s base. It is microwave and dishwasher safe. Finished mugs are bulk packed for shipment. The company has produced pieces for The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Washington National Cathedral and many others. [17] The Rose Lady specializes in preserving items from nature, such as flowers and leaves, and turning them into beautiful keepsakes—ornaments, jewelry, nightlights, keychains and more. Trained artisans coat the pieces in lacquer or dip them in copper before being dipped in precious metals. The delicate process typically takes seven days. While a natural for botanical gardens, culture and history enthusiasts would also enjoy these treasures. April Miller is a Cleveland-based writer and a regular contributor to Museum Store. She last wrote the Green, Recycled & Fair Trade Buyer’s Guide in the fall issue.

RETAIL BUYER’S GUIDE It’s not just beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry; it’s a 700 year old story.

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|

M a t a O r t i z To Yo u . c o m

www.americanheritagechocolate.com (800) 800-7046 See our ad on page 2 Applewood Books www.applewoodbooks.com (800) 277-5312 See our ad on page 31 Baltimore Coffee and Tea www.baltcoffee.com (410) 561-1080 See our ad on page 43


Baskets of Cambodia www.basketsofcambodia.com (866) 774-8800 See our ad on page 41

Stars and Stripes Mug

BeadForLife www.beadforlife.org (303) 554-5901 x120 See our ad on page 35 Boeing Stores, Inc. www.boeingstore.com (866) 926-3464 See our ad on page 7 Bridge Brands Chocolate www.bridgebrands.com (888) 732-4626 See our ad on page 29 Design Master Associates, Inc. www.designmasters.com (800) 322-7583 See our ad on page 47 Galison www.galison.com (212) 354-8840 See our ad on page 16

Show off your patriotic pride when drinking the beverage of your choice from this handsome mug. This 18 ounce porcelain mug is dishwasher and microwave safe. Made in the USA!

Harmony Designs www.harmonydesigns.com (888) 293-1109 See our ad on page 15

David Changar | 718-842-6362 | F 718-842-6965 | NY NOW #9200 David@DavidChangar.com | www.DavidChangar.com

Historical Folk Toys, LLC www.historicalfolktoys.com (800) 871-1984 See our ad on page 13 Madison Bay Company www.madisonbayco.com (717) 259-6886 See our ad on page 15 Maple Landmark Woodcraft www.maplelandmark.com (800) 421-4223 See our ad on page 29 Museum Store Products Inc. www.museumstoreproducts.com (800) 966-7040 See our ad on page 30 Q3 Art www.q3art.com (877) 929-4258 See our ad on page 8 Rancho Park Publishing www.RanchoPark.com/sidelines.htm (919) 942-9493 See our ad on page 34 The Rose Lady www.theroselady.com (800) 767-3155 See our ad on page 35 WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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MERCHANDISE PLANNING


COOKING UP A

COOK BOOK

BY CATHERINE NEWTON

RECIPES FOR SUCCESS

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ookbooks sell well at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Ga. So well, in fact, that store manager Barbara Morphy would like to publish one. She envisions illustrations from the institution’s collection in the cookbook and feels comfortable stretching the museum’s focus on Southern artwork and artists to Southern cooking. But she needs to know more. “A cookbook could be a nice long-term addition to our shop, but the last thing I want is a warehouse full of cookbooks,” Morphy says. “That’s a scary thought.” To help Morphy (and you) make a more informed decision about publishing a cookbook, we talked to several store managers about their experiences. Here’s what we learned.

A SUPER-SIZED COMMITMENT

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ith a retail price double or even triple the per unit cost, a custom cookbook can be a money-maker for your shop—but expect to invest untold hours over a year or longer from the time you begin planning the cookbook until the day it hits your shelves. Most store managers don’t have that kind of extra time, so they rely on a cadre of enthusiastic and committed volunteers to head up recipe-gathering, taste-testing and other committees. Some hire a custom publisher. And, they get buy-in from the museum as a whole.

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COOKING UP A

COOK BOOK

RECIPES FOR SUCCESS

“I would never take on a cookbook project without full museum support,” advises Nan Pope, Director of Visitor Services/Museum Shop Manager at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, N.C. “Our cookbook—‘The Cook’s Canvas 2: Coastal Carolina Artfully Entertains’—was a museum project, not a shop project. We sell the cookbooks on consignment to the museum.” Showing management how a cookbook can support the institution’s mission will help get the endorsement you need, shop managers say. The mission of Luther Burbank Home & Gardens in Santa Rosa, Calif., for example, is to educate visitors about the famed horticulturist, Luther

Burbank, who introduced many new varieties of fruits and vegetables. To further the mission, the institution’s cookbook, “Recipes from the Garden: Vegetables from A to Z,” includes information about the nature of each featured vegetable and Burbank’s work on it, explains Dee Blackman, Gift Shop Product Development. In Demopolis, Ala., the Marengo County Historical Society’s cookbook, “Cookin’ in the Canebrake: Treasured Recipes,” stayed true to the institution’s mission by featuring photos and foodrelated history of each of the society’s historic house museums and other sites in Marengo County. “The result is so much more than a cookbook,” says Kirk Brooker, Operations Manager.

TURN UP THE HEAT ON DETAILS

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etting a budget for the cookbook up front will help you determine if the project is feasible before the first recipe comes in the door. To cut costs, take advantage of your volunteers’ expertise.

COOKBOOK IDEAS BOIL OVER Our sources ladled generous helpings of cookbook ideas. A sampler: If the cost and time of producing a cookbook prove too daunting, how about note cards? The Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum developed a set of 10 note cards that include recipes donated by five local restaurant chefs. Unique lightship basket images (also donated) and suggested wine pairings made “Recipes from Nantucke” a success.

—Paul Dobrowolski, Gift Shop Buyer/Product Developer Find a cookbook that fits your mission, buy it wholesale, and sell it to raise money for your project. When the Historic Mobile Preservation Society in Alabama launched a capital campaign to restore its mid-19th century Cook’s House, sales of “What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking” (Applewood Books), the first known African American cookbook, contributed several thousand dollars to the fundraising effort. —Rhonda Davis, Executive Director Creative packaging sells cookbooks. Volunteers at Luther Burbank Home & Gardens add a twist to “Recipes from the Garden: Vegetables from A to Z” by placing the cookbook into green net bags, ready for gift-giving. —Dee Blackman, Gift Shop Product Development When the Cameron Art Museum found that it had too many cookbooks in storage, it donated some for special events and membership drives—and got the museum’s name and mission in front of people at the same time. —Nan Pope, Museum Shop Manager

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The North Carolina Museum of History Associates in Raleigh, for example, recruited a board member who is also a historian to volunteer his time to write the historical sidebars that will appear throughout “North Carolina: An Appetizing State” when it’s published in late 2014 (just in time for the holidays). “The sidebars tie in regions and historic sites in North Carolina to local food and to artifacts in our museum,” says Lynn Brower, Director of Retail Operations. Another member, an artist, did a painting of old-time utensils for the cookbook’s cover, and then donated the painting to the museum to auction at a fundraiser for the project. Decisions such as hard cover or soft cover, color or black-and-white, spiral binding or perfect binding, illustrations or photographs, type of paper, and number of recipes/pages (avoid a layout that requires the reader to turn the page to find the rest of the recipe) all affect the bottom line. “But don’t sacrifice quality to save a few dollars in cost,” says Pope. “Most cookbooks sell as gifts. A splash of color, photos or illustrations, and a hard cover with a title on the spine will display better in your shop.” Because printing is the largest expense, carefully think through the quantity of books you want to have on hand. The larger the print run, the lower the unit cost, so printers often recommend print runs of 3,000 or more. The resulting unit cost of, say $8, is attractive, especially at a retail price of $25 or $30, but if you can’t sell 3,000 cookbooks, you could find yourself


with unwanted inventory that takes up valuable storage space. Pope inherited “more cookbooks than I care to think about” when she joined the Cameron Art Museum. “It’s a very good cookbook, and we continue to sell it for $27 each, but the print run was probably 5,000, which was way too many.” One way to settle on a quantity is to estimate how many cookbooks you will sell in the first two years, with the assumption that interest will lag after that. Brooker tested the waters by printing only 300 copies when he published “Cookin’ in the Canebrake” in 2006. When the book continued to sell well, he did second and third printings of 300 each. His unit cost is higher—around $13 per book with a retail price of $30—but he’s also avoided the trap of unsold inventory languishing in the back room. (Most museum store managers we spoke to reported keeping the retail price of their cookbooks at $30 or less.) For small print runs, check out the cost of short-run digital printing, also called print-on-demand. The quality of this printing method has improved, and many printers now offer it as an option along with traditional off-set printing. A reputable printer can help you determine which approach will be most cost-effective for you. If all this seems like too much to tackle, a custom publisher can handle the tasks for you, from design and layout to editing, proofreading, printing and storage. A publisher also can keep track of details you may not have thought about, such as an index and consistent recipe abbreviations, help volunteers stay on deadline, and be the objective outside expert who will back you up on touchy decisions like choosing a cover design or rejecting a volunteer’s recipe. Look online for names of custom publishers, check the publishers of cookbooks you like, and get recommendations from other Museum Store Association members. The shop managers we spoke to mentioned Southwest Publishing Group, parent company of Favorite Recipes Press (FRP); KHP Museum & Custom Publishing; and Morris Press Cookbooks. WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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COOKING UP A

COOK BOOK

RECIPES FOR SUCCESS

Ask the publisher to show you examples of cookbooks they’ve published and find out if you can pick and choose the services you want them to provide. And, read the contract carefully. Beware of a publisher that quotes a low price, but adds caveats to the contract that would substantially increase costs to correct a typo or make other reasonable adjustments.

FOLD IN THE RECIPES

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ollecting recipes is where volunteers shine. Ideally, your volunteers will be good cooks who enjoy a challenge and can confidently judge a recipe and make adjustments to it. A core group of 10 volunteers is spearheading the cookbook project

at the North Carolina Museum of History, chaired by a man who is “a lot of fun and a real foodie,” Brower says. A sub-committee of 20 or so additional volunteers has done the taste-testing, headed up by a former chef and restaurant owner who knows how to change recipes. Tweaking recipes is a common practice, store managers say. It makes the recipe original to your cookbook and helps avoid potential copyright issues. Then, instead of listing the donor’s name with the recipe, include the names of contributors at the end of the book—whether or not the person’s recipe was used. Another tip: Develop a form for donors to use when submitting their favorite dish, so you’ll get recipes back in a similar format with the key facts you’ll need—oven temperature, cooking time, number of servings, and so on.

MIXING IN SPONSORS AND SALES

I

n the best of all worlds, your cookbook will be paid for before it ever arrives in the shop. Brower is soliciting sponsors,

both organizations and individuals, to contribute monetarily and will acknowledge them in a special section at the back of the cookbook. She’s also held recipe-gathering and taste-testing events around the state to build excitement in the cookbook. Pope suggests asking each individual who donates a recipe to commit to purchasing 10 or 20 copies of the cookbook. “The more you pre-sell the cookbook, the fewer you will have lingering in the shop,” she says. Brooker generated interest in the cookbook by contacting area newspapers to run articles inviting the community to contribute recipes and later to announce the

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cookbook’s publication, and says the articles also attracted new members. He promoted “Cookin’ in the Canebrakeâ€? in the society’s newsletter and Facebook page. And he approached specialty shops within a 30-mile radius with a proposal to carry the cookbook. “We gave them a slight discount off our retail price, and they could set their own retail price,â€? he explains. “But our most successful marketing is word-of-mouth. We have many repeat customers, and the cookbook has become a popular wedding gift.â€? Blackman markets “Recipes from the Gardenâ€? online, in email blasts and at the annual holiday open house. “Our vegetable cookbook has been a success, but it’s also been a lot of work,â€? she says. “I do admit to groaning every time one of our volunteers suggests that it might be time to do a cookbook concentrating on fruits and Luther Burbank. Maybe next year‌â€? Catherine Newton is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. Her latest article “The Store at LBJ Gets a Faceliftâ€? appeared in the 2013 fall issue of Museum Store magazine.

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MSA 2014: EXTENDING THE EXPERIENCE

HOUSTON APRIL 11–14, 2014

In Houston, you’ll discover an exciting educational program with interactive formats you’ve never experienced at MSA before, along with more networking events and unique products to ďŹ ll your shelves. MSA 2014 will give you the tools you need to help you extend your institution’s mission in your store. Registration materials were mailed in October. We’ll see you in Texas!

www.MSAmeeting.org WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

DEVELOP THE SKILLS YOU NEED FOR A

SEAT TABLE AT

THE

By Anita Durel


onprofits need varied revenue streams and the money they produce to operate. A percentage of that funding is earned in the museum store. But, if the museum store is viewed merely as a merchandising outlet, then the store may not seem crucial to the institutional mission. Museum stores should be viewed in a broader context and can be avenues to connect to trustees, cultivate donors and drive membership sales. Museum store managers can orchestrate changes in entrenched perceptions and roles. This article offers some insights and approaches to encourage museum store managers to engage in broader participation and leadership in unique ways.

N

On the Frontlines hether leading visitor services, a store team or functioning solo, store managers are charged with making money and can be even more successful if they embrace roles that stretch way beyond standard merchandising functions. When staffers underscore the advantage of applying the cost of admission to a new membership, promote both member-only programs and exclusive discounts, and inform visitors about activities and events as well as other ways to get involved or volunteer, they act to extend other staff functions. The role of store staff is highly underrated. They regularly interact with the public. When a visitor leaves the museum, often their comments on their experience encompass more than exhibition content. In fact, a visitor’s parting assessment of the museum may well be framed by the way they were treated at the admissions desk and their interactions in the museum store. Reach Advisors has done groundbreaking work on museum visitor experiences. Their findings from an extensive 2008 study found that the vast majority of museum visitors felt that the staff did not care about them and their family. When we consider that store staff may be the only museum representative that guests speak to during their visit, their pivotal role as store staff becomes clear.

W

Gaining a Voice he senior leadership team can be a productive, essential source of inspiration and extraordinary collaborators who constantly advance organizational goals. Or, they can be obstructionist, protect their silos and be singularly focused on their own departmental needs. Whatever the situation, the store leader must make efforts to break into the departmental information network and become knowledgeable of departmental goals to discover how the store can enhance broader institutional efforts. Producing quality mission-related products depends on a merchandiser’s knowledge of programming, exhibits and the collection. Whether it is exhibition catalogs that the museum store manager produces, or paper, reproductions, scarves, notebooks or other items, they all must be of the same quality the museum commits to its exhibits. Store managers may be privy to departmental priorities through retreats and planning sessions, but they cannot rely solely on such general formal meetings. Instead, they must convene their own meetings with key leaders to continue conversations, not only as an exchange of information but also as a collaborative means to explore broader ideas that will benefit the entire organization. Store managers need also to be included in many of the senior level meetings, especially marketing. According to Allison Perkins, Executive Director of Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Visitor Services Coordinator/Store Manager, Cindy Byrd, is so integral to the cultivation process she is included in all department head meetings. Perkins notes that during these meetings, “she is privy to institutional goals and concerns. She also participates in exhibition committee meetings and is in-the-know on upcoming activities at Reynolda House.” Perkins encourages departmental leaders to be inclusive and share ideas. She understands that to maximize the capability of the store, the store must have a place at the table during the planning process.

T

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DEVELOP THE SKILLS YOU NEED FOR A

SEAT TABLE AT

THE

Staff Integration—Staking a Claim in Leadership urators know how they want to shape an exhibit; educators define complementary program content; and

C

the marketing team sifts out themes and promotional roll outs that impact the store. If part of the early planning process, store managers can act as an extension of the leadership team’s aspirations for learning and engagement and be a proactive force in the institution. Dion Brown, Executive Director of the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Miss., notes that, “Our gift store plays a key role in getting our messages out to the community. When people call, the staff

must be knowledgeable of all programming. Each week we provide a description of upcoming events to store staff. If we miss something, they will let us know for sure.” Brown knows that you can’t expect people to be part of the promotional arm if they don’t know the program details. In considering audience, staff should consider the fact that members and guests who recently had an enjoyable visit are those most likely to attend programs. These are the same people who shop in your museum store. Exhibit related events and lectures are another area where the store can support programmatic goals through marketing, selling related items (e.g., the book for a book club meeting) and special related promotions.

Membership Sales and Cultivation irectors frequently voice concern about the store staff ’s unwillingness or lack of skills in marketing membership both at the point of entry and point of store sales. This is an area where staff must be trained, evaluated and made aware of expectations since it offers a singular opportunity to grow membership. According to Bill Tramposh, Executive Director at the Nantucket Historical Association in Nantucket, Mass., “The museum store is one of the best outputs of the museum brand, and…it is a membership magnet.” If that’s the case, then store staff activate that magnet and do so successfully if they are educated about the broader role of membership in the museum, the reasons people join and the importance of retaining members. Members sign up because they like what you do and may enjoy the tangible benefits like free admission. It’s a quid pro quo arrangement that is worth the investment because it can lead to donations and long-term commitments to the institution. Staff members are often unaware that future donors typically come to you initially as basic members. And they make that connection at the checkout counter if they are invited. It’s all interconnected. This is so important that many museums offer frontline staff incentives for selling memberships.

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Kathy Fleming, Executive Director of the Saint Augustine Lighthouse & Museum in Saint Augustine, Fla., believes in providing incentives to change behaviors. “We placed a membership stand on the front porch and set incentives with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Staff that reach goal get a pay raise and/or higher incentive payoffs.” Fleming notes, “This is not a commission; our goals are mission-oriented instead of salesdriven. She emphasized that “memberships are flying because we have someone out there selling and talking and greeting. We are about $100,000 ahead of last year by using this strategy.” Fleming’s approach is to make sure all staff members have at least three KPIs, including the frontline staff. Membership encompasses not only the incentives but the inclusive aspect of membership. By inviting a guest to become a member, they are in essence inviting them into an inner circle. If you don’t invite them in, then you are in essence excluding them. Inaction amounts to exclusion. How are you, as the store manager, helping your staff and volunteers to understand the nuances of cultivation? By inviting shoppers to enter a membership raffle you can collect names and contact information for use in the next membership drive—a surefire way to expand the prospect list. Hold a special “members only” shopping evening around the holidays, including snacks and drinks. Encourage your members to invite friends and family to the event, offering the same discount to these prospects. Membership benefits typically include a store discount that is really a cultivation strategy. Opportunities like special sales and store holiday receptions, as well as periodic sales and coupons, send a message that the museum really does care about its members. Believe it or not, a mailed coupon can attract members to the store even if they already enjoy a 10 percent discount. It is amazing. Just think what might happen if you increased that coupon to “an additional 10 percent.”

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Cultivation of Trustees and Donors

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tore managers who have access to board profiles and participate in strategies WINTER 2013 | MUSEUM STORE

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DEVELOP THE SKILLS YOU NEED FOR A

SEAT TABLE AT

THE

for top-tier donors can provide personal shopper services. “Our shop manager functions as a kind of extension of the Development office, particularly with high-end donors,” says Perkins. Byrd makes note of anniversaries and birthdays and uses these to enhance store services and cultivate prospective and current donors. Perkins continued, “She takes a proactive approach to helping spouses and donors when these special occasions come around.” Just as you work to gain members through a special shopping event, do the same for board members around a board meeting, complete with wrapping services. Whether you are taking a small token gift to a donor or promoting gift baskets for first-year college students, the museum

store should be the first place your board, staff and donors turn to.

Contributions—Rounding Up everal of my museum clients have begun to invite shoppers to round up their purchases. A purchase of $16.10 can be rounded up to $20 with the difference applied as a contribution for a specific cause like supplementing admissions for low-income families, funding school visits or transportation, or sponsoring a child at summer camp. This strategy also can be applied at the admissions desk. For the price of a coffee, guests can make a difference. This transaction may be viewed as a gift or donation rather than counting as a store sale, yet it communicates you are working as a team member towards the common cause of supporting the overall health and wellbeing of the institution’s mission. Forging relationships with departmental leaders and demonstrating the value of working with the museum store has clear advantages. You can make your meetings

S

with other leaders within the institution more strategic if you come prepared with concrete goals and objectives they care about as part of a case for collaboration across departmental lines. Work on developing trust that your work as a leader and the work of the store staff is always of the highest quality, matching the tone of the goals of the museum. Anita Durel, of Durel Consulting Partners in Baltimore, Md., is a frequent presenter at museum conferences and has more than three decades of experience in nonprofits and philanthropy. Her publications have appeared in History News of the American Association for State and Local History, the Forum Journal of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Hand-to-Hand of the Association of Children’s Museums, and many museum newsletters. A past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals– Maryland Chapter, Durel has served on AFP international and CFRE committees, and has taught in the Goucher College Nonprofit Management and Fundraising Programs.

           

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COMMUNICATIONS

CURATE CREATE? TO

OR TO

USING IMAGES IN SOCIAL MEDIA By Kimberlee Riley

T

hat familiar saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is as applicable with social media as it is elsewhere. In fact, in addition to having the value of a thousand words, in social media, updates with images also get liked twice as much as text updates. For those managing social media accounts, this means increased user engagement and return on investment. Images help you do visual storytelling, and visual content creates emotional connections. It’s a nobrainer to determine that you want to use images, but the challenge is determining how to use them in your social media campaigns. Of all the social media sites, Facebook and Twitter are always ranked in the top 10 and often are number one and two for small and medium-sized businesses. Both Facebook and Twitter are popular social media sites for museums, and images can be incorporated into your account branding with the profile and header images, as well as into your updates. Facebook also provides the opportunity to create photo albums. However, these sites aren’t specifically image- or photo-oriented. Instagram and Pinterest also are found in the rankings within the top 10, and they both continue to be fast-growing social media sites. What’s different about these two sites from the others is that they are focused on imagery—posts and pins are either photos or videos. Pinterest launched in March 2010 and has quickly grown to more than 70 million users in September 2013. Pinterest is a virtual thematic bulletin board where you share links and is described in the industry as a place to curate images. Instagram was released in October 2010 and was growing so quickly it was purchased by Facebook in April 2012. In September 2013, Instagram was reported as having more than 150 million users. Instagram is a mobile photo editing and sharing app with technology that helps you easily create stunning images to use on your social media sites.

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IS CKPH ISTO CKPHOTO. OT COM OM / © MBBI BBIRDY BBI R RD


TO

OR TO

USING IMAGES IN SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media trends for 2014 focus on image-based sites and their continued popularity and growth. It’s challenging for many in the museum industry to keep up with the trends in the social media realm— whether the challenge is capacity or budget or both. How do you determine which social media site is right for your museum and whether you can maintain a viable presence on that site? Just as with any other business project—you need a plan to determine the why, what, who and how. Why do you want to create a profile on a social media site? There are a variety of benefits that a well-maintained social media presence can bring your museum. These benefits include company branding or enhancing awareness about your brand. With the viral potential of social media you can gain word-of-mouth advertising. Which

social media sites you choose can provide improved audience reach, and the content you feature can improve trust and engagement. Additionally, monitoring the engagement of your audience can provide valuable insight into your audience’s interests and preferences. A social media presence also enhances your own website’s search engine optimization. What content will you feature? The content you feature will of course reflect your

museum and the interpretive themes you focus on and programs and services you offer. You also want to share details about how well your organization is managed and how your audience can be engaged. Transitioning to an image-based social media site means building your photography and video libraries that can help you feature this content. Who do you want to reach? Just as your programs can attract different audiences,

SOCIAL MEDIA USERS

Social Media Site

Percent of Internet Users

Gender

Age

Ethnicity

Facebook

67%

Men (62%) Women (72%)

18-29 (86%) 30-49 (73%) 50+ (92%)

No data

Twitter

16%

Men (17%) Women (16%)

18-29 (27%) 30-49 (16%) 50+ (12%)

Black (26%) Hispanic (19%) White (14%)

Pinterest

15%

Men (5%) Women (25%)

18-29 (19%) 30-49 (19%) 50+ (16%)

Black (8%) Hispanic (10%) White (18%)

Instagram

13%

Men (10%) Women (16%)

18-29 (28%) 30-49 (14%) 50+ (5%)

Black (23%) Hispanic (18%) White (11%)

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MUSEUM STORE | WINTER 2013

From Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project in December 2012

CURATE CREATE?


each social media site also has a specific audience. Researching these audiences can help you determine if that site will help you reach the audience you want to target. (See sidebar on page 40.) How will you do it? Just as each social media site has its unique audience they also have a unique culture. This culture includes how often you post or pin and how you interact with others on the site. It is critical to understand the culture of a social media site to successfully establish a profile on that site. Once you understand the culture of a social media site you can determine how often activity needs to take place on your account. Knowing how often your account needs to show activity helps you determine labor needs for maintaining your account. As with any business project, the most efficient and effective way to begin is with a well-thought-out strategy for implementation. Your social media site strategy should include details about the audience you want to reach, the content you will use, how often you will be active, who will administer and monitor the account, and a communications calendar with content topics and messages. Museums have endless possibilities on Pinterest and Instagram for content. Primary interpretive themes, core and traveling exhibitions, program and events, and store merchandise are naturals for these image-oriented social media sites. In addition, museums can feature collaborations with other museums, behind-the-scenes details, as well as share helpful information for preserving photos and objects, wedding or business meeting planning, living green or living healthy, where and how to go birding, how to garden, etc. In addition to doing research, a great way to learn a social media site’s culture is to first create an individual account. Use this account to follow other museums, retailers, or any popular accounts that relate to what you would like for your museum’s account. Your personal experience will help you determine if your museum should curate, create or do both. Additionally,

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CURATE CREATE? TO

LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION? Complex Media provided a list in late 2012 of 10 museums on Pinterest and 20 museums on Instagram which they noted as having quality pinboards and images, strong user following, and creative approaches. Visit these museums on Pinterest and Instagram to get ideas for your museum on these trending social media sites.

PINTEREST The Andy Warhol Museum Chicago History Museum Diefenbunker Museum Indianapolis Museum of Art J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art Mercedes Benz Museum Metropolitan Museum of Art San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Smithsonian

INSTAGRAM Brooklyn Museum Chicago History Museum City Museum Clyfford Still Museum Hammer Museum Laguna Art Museum Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Modern Art Museum Siam New Museum The New York Botanical Garden Philadelphia Museum of Art Powerhouse Museum Queens Museum San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Smithsonian Walker Art Center

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OR TO

USING IMAGES IN SOCIAL MEDIA

your experience will help prepare you for successfully creating and maintaining your museum’s account. Here are some great tips you can use to enhance your presence on Pinterest: • Apply the 40-40-20 rule—create your pinboards with 40 percent inspiring, 40 percent educational, and 20 percent about your brand. • Be active every few days with fresh pins, repins or likes. • Turn your content into infographics and charts. • Pin pictures and videos. • Remember to promote others— repin, comment and like other pins on your content. • Allow users to generate content on a “guest” board. • Run a “pin-to-win” contest. • Drive traffic to your website, blog and other social media sites by using strong visual images and pinning them. • Introduce your team by sharing behind-the-scene images as well as images that showcase team member interests and hobbies. • Create a coupon graphic that can be pinned. • Become a resource with the content you can provide on your pinboards. • Monitor your follower activities to learn more about their interests. And here’s how to make the best use of your Instagram account: • Apply the 80-20 rule—80 percent should be images that relate to your business but aren’t too commercial, while 20 percent can be more business oriented. • Pretty pictures and funny pictures are most popular. • Create captions that are a call-toaction.


• • • •

• • •

Don’t post more than three photos in a row or one every three hours. (Photo albums are for Facebook.) Post both photos and videos. Showcase both your customers and members. Invite others to post their photos. If you have a Twitter account, use the same name on Instagram. This makes you more recognizable, and if you are tagged by another user on a photo shared on Twitter, the tag will make sense. Use hashtags to help with the search functionality. Engage other users with photo contests. Examine feedback from your audience—learn from their comments and tags and what they share.

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IMAGES ON THE INTERNET

G

enerally linking to content on other sites does not infringe copyright. But if the images are not your own, be sure the owner of the image doesn’t mind or always reference the owner and/or include links to the original source. When building your photo or video library with images of the public you should have a signed agreement that states how a picture or video can be used. This is especially true in the case of children. However, photos and videos of events from a distance which include a large number of not easily identifiable people don’t require permission. Another great way to get photos is to encourage your followers to post their own pictures. Kimberlee Riley has been involved with all aspects of nonprofit management, governance and retail. A longtime member of MSA, Kimberlee, past Director of Programs/COO at Jefferson National Parks Association, is now Associate Director with the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Fla. She last wrote the article “Generate Sales: A Case Study on Development Options for an Online Store” in the winter 2008 issue of Museum Store.

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| ad index | 2014 MSA Conference & Expo ................................................................ 31

Hogeye, Inc. ............................................................................................. 17

American Craft Council ........................................................................... 48

Ibis & Orchid Design ............................................................................... 23

American Heritage Chocolate................................................................... 2

Live Your Dream Designs........................................................................ 16

Applewood Books .................................................................................... 31

Madison Bay Company ............................................................................ 15

Baltimore Coffee and Tea ....................................................................... 43

Maple Landmark Woodcraft ................................................................... 29

Baskets of Cambodia .............................................................................. 41

Mata Ortiz to You ..................................................................................... 24

BeadForLife. . .......................................................................................... 35

Messe Frankfurt ...................................................................................... 22

Boeing Stores, Inc. .................................................................................... 7

Museum Store magazine ......................................................................... 41

Bridge Brands Chocolate ........................................................................ 29

Museum Store Products, Inc. ................................................................. 30

Bullpen Book Sales ................................................................................. 43

North Country Wind Bells ....................................................................... 34

Clear Solutions, Inc. ............................................................................... 25

Opto International ..................................................................................... 5

Creative Whack Company ....................................................................... 40

Q3 Art, Inc. ................................................................................................. 8

David Changar Ceramic Designs ............................................................ 25

Rancho Park Publishing ......................................................................... 34

Design Master Associates, Inc. .............................................................. 47

The Rose Lady ......................................................................................... 35

EDC Publishing/Usborne/Kane Miller .................................................... 11

Safari Ltd. ................................................................................................ 46

Folkmanis, Inc. .......................................................................................... 9

Sergio Lub Inc.......................................................................................... 23

Found Image Press ................................................................................. 42

Solmate Socks ......................................................................................... 23

Fractiles, Inc. ........................................................................................... 30

Sunset Hill Stoneware............................................................................. 42

Galison/Mudpuppy ................................................................................... 16

TAM Retail (A Div. of Lode Data Systems) .............................................. 21

General Pencil Company, Inc. ................................................................ 13

Toy Industry Association, Inc. ................................................................. 37

Glass Eye Studio ..................................................................................... 16

Village Designs ........................................................................................ 24

Golden Island Int’l Inc. ............................................................................ 36 Harmony Designs .................................................................................... 15 Historical Folk Toys LLC ......................................................................... 13

For detailed contact information about any Museum Store advertiser, please visit www.MuseumStoreAssociation.org and log in to the Member Directory.

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Museum Store Winter 2013