This week, I’m going to cheat a little and share something I recently wrote for another venue. When you’re on vacation, the urge to be a bit of a slacker is hard to resist.
For the last 13 or so years, I’ve written on a freelance basis for a quarterly magazine called Museum Store. Based in Denver, it’s published by an organization called the Museum Store Association (MSA). If you manage a gift shop at any kind of museum, aquarium, historic site, zoo or Presidential Library, chances are you are a member of MSA.
In that time, I’ve written about topics ranging from how to handle school groups to using Pinterest to boost sales to improving inventory management. Maybe it was inevitable that my passion for cemetery hopping would collide with my writing for MSA. When I pitched the idea of writing an article about cemeteries with gift shops, they went for it.
So take a moment to read about this new retail trend. Shopping at a cemetery may sound a bit strange but it seems to be catching on. I’m especially pleased that I got to talk with some of the wonderful staff at Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery.
I could see where some folks might find a gift shop to be a bit distasteful, but cemeteries are expensive to operate. It makes sense to find ways of increasing revenue, including ways that are outside the box (pun intended).
From what the folks who operate such stores that I have talked to have told me, 95 percent of people are fine with it. So many of these old cemeteries are now maintained by “Friend of…” type groups, they do indeed need some extra revenue sources.