The shopping days following Thanksgiving weekend are now commonly known as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday — so it was only matter of time until a group claimed Sunday for its own. The Museum Store Association has just announced an effort to have it named Museum Store Sunday.  The event is subtitled a ‘Global Celebration of Meaningful Gift Giving.’

This international campaign is intended to “encourage holiday shoppers to visit museum stores and experience the unique offerings of non-profit retailers.”  Although museum shops combine two retail success strategies — tourism and cause-based marketing — it can be difficult for them to attract visitors outside of a museum visit.  This new effort will encourage shoppers to come in for mission-related products as holiday gifts.

Museum Store Sunday participation is open to all non-profit retailers, whether they are MSA members or not. The official web site for the event is due to launch shortly, and will provide the public with a list of participating MSA members.  Branded marketing materials will be available to museums belonging to the association, and members are encouraged to consider offering free admission and extended hours to encourage visitors on November 26.

This new event will also emphasize the range of unique gifts that most museum (and other “cultural non-profit attractions”) shops offer.   These items often have inspirational or educational value, and in many cases they are specific to the region where the institution is located. 

Some museums, especially those that hold the license for well-known art works, make some of their products available at wholesale.  If you carry this merchandise in your store, you might create a special display in honor of the first ever Museum Store Sunday. But even those of use who don’t find a way to participate will benefit from yet another effort that encourages customers to shop conscientiously and support businesses that are important to our communities.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder