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11 Nov

Museum Buyers: How to Shop AmericasMart's January 2020 Market

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With three buildings spanning more than seven million square feet, AmericasMart's January Market offers everything museum buyers are seeking- and a great deal more. The Museum Collective is an excellent place for museum buyers to find exactly what they're looking for, but that's just the start. In order to see it all, planning is important.

Museum Store Buyers Weigh In
Both returning buyers as well as those who are new to the Market have a great deal to look forward to. We checked in with two such buyers- one who has attended AmericasMart for more than 20 years, and the other who is ready to shop her first January Market as a nonprofit retail manager.

The Atlanta History Center is quite different from many museum stores. With a restaurant and a coffee shop outside of the admission-only area, Karry Fisher, the center's retail manager, has many visitors who aren't even spending time at the museum. Fisher is looking forward to attending her first January Market as the Atlanta History Center's manager in 2020.

When shopping the Market, Fisher will be looking for anything and everything that will meet the mission of the museum. This means that she is not just seeking exhibit-related goods, but also anything associated with Atlanta, artists from Georgia and Georgia-made specialty food items.

In July 2019, Fisher was certain to get through the temporaries, so that she didn't miss out on items that won't be at AmericasMart on a permanent basis- and she plans to repeat that process in January 2020. "After that, I wander around to other showrooms where I don't have appointments to see what is new or different- or someone I might want to start a relationship with, if they have something that works for our museum," Fisher said.

Besides interacting with her regular vendors, Fisher always keeps the customer wish list in mind and takes care to seek out not only those items that the history center decision-makers ask for, but also what the public is trying to find.

Susan Tudor, a veteran January Market shopper and Museum Store Association president, plans to see the whole show. She takes advantage on the extended shopping nights in order to get through all three buildings. To start, Tudor suggests creating a list. Her January Market list will include handmade, artisan goods that are one-of-a-kind. Global design is also important for Tudor, who will shop for both retail locations at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, and this season she'll be seeking Asian-inspired designs for an upcoming new exhibit.

With the list, Tudor creates an organized breakdown of her must-see locations. Temps always make the list, as does The Museum Collective, plus Handmade and Global Designs. She is careful to take note of display ideas that will work in her two retail locations. She spends time seeking new products and vendors.

Ultimately, Tudor's feet take her past every vendor so she won't miss out on those unique goods and display ideas. "I buy in support of my permanent collections, but I am looking at trends. I look to AmericasMart because they have education sessions on trends, Pantone colors, etc.- so I look for the direction they provide to buyers," Tudor said. In addition, Tudor attends a networking event held in conjunction with January Market, which is hosted by the Museum Store Association.

After 21 years of spending at AmericasMart, Tudor still finds value in her time at January Market. "As a museum buyer who is in search of products in support of our mission, I feel AmericasMart is a great show to shop. It kicks off the trade show circuit, and more importantly, most vendors will have their new 2020 items at this show first," Tudor said.

The Museum Collective at AmericasMart
Custom-designed to serve the refined merchandising requirements of museum stores, zoos, aquariums, catalogs, online sellers and other specialty retail enterprises, The Museum Collective presents a curated selection of quality gifts, decor, collectibles and private label products under a strategic partnership with the Museum Store Association. The Museum Collective is located in Building 3, Floor 2 on the same floor as Museum Gifts, Global Designs, Handmade Designs and Made in America.

Plan your visit to find new product introductions, new and expanded showrooms and exciting Market programming, events, celebrations and experiences at January Market, January 14-21.

Register Today

Original article written by Jess Schmidt, featured on Museums & More.

 

Contributing Writer
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