Cowboys & Indians, Western Storefront Spring 2013
“Museum stores are typically a last stop after a day of touring exhibits. You pick up a shirt or mug to commemorate your visit, and then you’re off to try to remember where you parked your car. But the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum store has aspired to be much more than a cultural souvenir stand.
‘We have something for those people who just want some sort of memorabilia from their trip, but we have also become a destination shop on our own,’ says retail marketing and website strategist Kirsten (Gannon) Holder. Between its spacious location and the museum’s website, the store offers a wide array of merchandise that includes nearly 6,000 different items, and many people stop by or visit online solely to shop. ‘We have a huge customer base outside of Oklahoma City, and even outside the country. In places like Germany and France and a lot of Asian countries, people are very interested in Western culture.’
Goods associated with the museum are perennial bestsellers, particularly the art catalogs from its annual Cowboy Crossings exhibition of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association and Cowboy Artists of America. And since the Hall of Great Western Performers is a favored attraction, the shop always has a selection of commemorative items for famous inductees like John Wayne.
The retail space also includes a boutique that would fit right in among any downtown shopping district, featuring works by Native artisans, fashions by Ryan Michael, and the largest selection of Rocki Gorman jewelry found anywhere in Oklahoma. Says Holder, ‘The customers just looking for souvenir-type items are blown away by the stuff we have.’”