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Ashmoleam Museum

Refreshing the Lower Ground Floor Shop

Location

UK

Sector

Museum & Galleries

Services

Retail Design

Date

2023

Size

Small

Awards

Museum + Heritage Award, Shop of the Year (shortlisted)

In 2022, we were approached by the Ashmolean Museum’s commercial team to refresh the existing lower ground floor shop after feedback from their customers. The museum, based in Oxford, hosts incredible collections spanning archaeological antiquities, artwork from all over the world, the Cast Gallery with some of the UK’s oldest and best-preserved sculptures, and, of course, the internationally renowned Coin Room.

The request for the renewed shop was to develop a design to improve the customer experience by opening up the space to brighten the whole area. Our team spent time exploring the museum and listening to the retail team, who had lots of great ideas to contribute, which provided vital insights to create a successful new operation.

New product zones

The counter was moved to the back of the shop and a new jewellery fixture introduced as this is a key category. We’ve also created a series of ‘zones’ to help people find the things that they might be looking for. Gifts, prints, books, accessories, our children’s range — all now have focused areas to help people navigate their way around the space. We’ve also freshened up the paintwork, flooring and lighting. We sense-checked our plans through a round of customer research — many thanks to the members who supported us to refine our plans during that process.

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Sustainability is important to us, and there are several aspects of this project that we’re particularly excited about. We’ve up-cycled the vast majority of the fixtures in the shop, refreshing them rather than replacing them. We’ve used Graphenstone paints, which are made with a base of lime extracted following the traditional method that avoids the burning of fuels and other chemicals. As a natural and organic product, it’s a great option for people who suffer from respiratory problems and has secured several certifications as a result. The colour on the back wall of the shop is ‘Kingfisher’ — inspired by John Ruskin’s Study of a Kingfisher.
James Dwyer
Creative Director
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We’ve also been refreshing our product ranges – working with more UK-based designers and makers to showcase a curated selection of products we think our customers will love. It’s really important to us that we offer a unique range of products: products that are original, distinctive and connected to our collections. We’re so grateful to the brilliant makers we’ve been working with who are taking inspiration from objects around the Museum that inspire them — to create the products that people buy as a memento of their visit — helping us in turn to operate the Museum.
Claire Lane
Commercial Director
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