Gifts Today magazine

Success for Museum Shop Sunday

On Sunday, 26 November, Museum Shop Sunday took place for the first time ever in the UK last Sunday, 26 November, with cultural shops across the nation seeing a tremendous spike in online engagement, visitors and sales

Occurring as an alternative to Christmas shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, sales increased both in-store and online across participating venues, with the Imperial War Museums up 145% in online sales from last year.

To promote the day, many museums offered discounts, demonstrations and interactive events to coincide with internal displays. Hosting an interactive Scalextric track to celebrate their new Ferrari: Under the Skin exhibition, the Design Museum in London generated a trifecta of improved engagement: footfall, product sales and social media engagement all increased from 2016.

Even smaller promotions generated public interest; offering homemade Freud biscuits to each shop visitor, the Freud Museum greeted 55% more visitors than last year on the same day. Across the nation, 120 participating museums took to social media, helping #museumshopsunday trend for most of the day. Expanding with their own social campaign, the Bodleian Libraries then achieved their best-ever Twitter engagement with a #EnterThroughTheGiftShop prize draw. Hosted by the Association for Cultural Enterprises, Museum Shop Sunday aimed to cultivate greater appreciation and support for the UK's finest cultural scene by encouraging higher public engagement with local cultural institutions, as all sales directly supported each venue.

After experiencing an overwhelmingly positive rise on all three success ratings, this global initiative plans to return to the UK as an annual tradition on Sunday, 25 November 2018. Said some of the institutions taking part:

'Our Freud shaped cookie received loads of smiles and admirations from visitors all day! Museum Shop Sunday really helped us to connect with our local audience and spread the word about our gift shop,' Ivetra Rozlapa, Freud Museum

'Our spend per visitor yesterday was up 81% on the average Sunday figure for the last two months, which is truly amazing. The retail team loved taking part as well,' Paul Griffiths, Mary Rose Museum

'Supported by the Association for Cultural Enterprises, the UK is excited to participate in this global event also taking place in the US, New Zealand and Australia. The next Black Friday or Cyber Monday but with the feel good factor. The Association for Cultural Enterprises is proud to be part of this exciting new venture and delighted to have the opportunity to encourage consumers far and wide to further discover the UK’s cultural shops and their fabulous product ranges.'
Jill Fenwick, Association for Cultural Enterprises

The Association for Cultural Enterprises (ACE) promotes commercial best practice in the cultural and heritage sector by providing training and networking opportunities and facilitating the sharing of information and experience between their members.

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