BEST ARTS NONPROFIT

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Museum Store

Leslie Genszler, director of retail operations
Madison, Wis.

How do this year’s sales compare to recent  years’? Are you seeing a consistent decline or a slow improvement?

Sales were a little slow during the first part of the year. But in September, it was like somebody flipped the switch, and sales have been strong and steady ever since. A couple of departments have really stood out. Jewelry has sold steadily.

Are you projecting more positive numbers for 2010? What are you doing now to keep customers shopping?

The museum store is projecting a modest increase for 2010. We’ve increased our selection of more affordable merchandise, and I’ve reordered from several artists. We also have more impulse items on the countertop near the cash register.

Have you tried any new promotions in the last two quarters?

We advertised sales of different departments each month for the first half of the year. Museum members were given the sale discount on top of their normal membership discount. This was a very productive strategy, as it brought customers in who purchased other items as well.

A small discount is given to customers who attend MMoCA’s “First Friday” events each month. This was advertised in our e-mail bulletins as well as the museum’s newsletter.

How has the economy affected your marketing budget? Are you adding, subtracting or keeping an even keel?

Our marketing budget has remained the same.

What changes did you make to your inventory mix during the economic downturn? What types of items are selling best right now?

For the fourth quarter, I brought in more consigned work by local artists and increased our tried-and-true favorites like mittens, purses and glass.

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