ACE Shop of the Month

We now have our full line-up of 2017 Shop of the Month winners, who will be entered into the new Best Shop category at the ACE Best Product Awards. The winners have been chosen for a combination of factors including exceptional visual merchandising, creative product ranges which reflect the venue, and of course proven commercial success. 

If you think your shop has what it takes to become ACE Shop of the Month then look out for next year's competition which will open in March 2018.                                   

THE WINNERS
December Shop of the Month
The Postal Museum
The two shops at the recently opened Postal Museum have been cleverly designed to echo the post trolleys seen in archive photography, with a distinct offer in each. The Postal Museum shop reflects its heritage, with bold red accent colours, while Mail Rail is inspired by engineering history, using the yellow colour scheme of the train tunnels below. The team focus on carefully sourced ranges with strong design and British production. Genius shop design, creative and innovative product development and beautifully presented spaces add up to some very intelligent retailing.
The Postal Museum shops
November Shop of the Month
British Library
The British Library's main shop has just had a fabulous refit, giving it a modern, minimalist style to match the design-led range of products on display. Our judges were impressed by the intelligent buying and excellent visual merchandising which have created a retail offer that really stands up to high street competition. The refit includes innovative features such as a magnetic wall displaying homeware and high end products, and the buying team aim to keep ideas fresh by working with up and coming designers and illustrators.
The British Library shop
October Shop of the Month
Horniman Museum & Gardens
The Horniman Museum and Gardens permanent new shop is situated in the recently opened Butterfly House. Delivered on a tight budget, there were a few challenges as the main structure is an industrial glass house! However since opening in August the new shop has already increased retail sales by 27% and members' retail spend has gone up from 11% to 18% of all transactions year on year. Head of Commercial Brad Owen told us, "It's the first real opportunity for an additional shop we've had on site, due to space restrictions, so we're very happy to see it in place and adding real value."
The Horniman Shop and the Butterfly House © Phil Sofer
September Shop of the Month
National Theatre Bookshop
To celebrate the National Theatre’s revival of Angels in America, the NT Bookshop has created a centrepiece display to complement the action on stage. The display takes inspiration from the gaudy aesthetic of New York in the 1980s; blinding neon colours frame a collection of products inspired by the diversity of the LGBTQI community and the flamboyance of the Club Kids generation. There’s even a carefully selected 80s playlist. The centrepiece neon light was originally used in the marketing campaign for the show, and can be seen on the production poster. The design has inspired a bespoke tote bag, magnet and badges which have proved popular with the play's audiences.
NT Bookshop © Philip Vile 
August Shop of the Month
Doune Castle Shop
With ever growing visitor numbers, Doune Castle shop was recently moved to a larger space within one of the Castle vaults, where creating an inviting gift shop in such a dark space posed a few challenges! Through clever use of materials and techniques, the team have designed a layout that's both contemporary and in keeping with the style of the property. There's even a fun interactive area where visitors can dress up in their favourite Outlander costumes! Lesley Rogers, Visual Merchandising Manager, told us that it's been a learning curve, but increased sales and an improved visitor experience have made the project a success of which the whole team are incredibly proud. 
Doune Castle Shop
July Shop of the Month
BALTIC Shop, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
To tie in with the Artists Award exhibition celebrating emerging artists, the colourful BALTIC Shop's theme is, ‘Everyone Can Be An Artist’. Products include art materials as well as humorous gifts and books aiming to make art more engaging to BALTIC visitors, most of whom aren’t art aficionados. To entice more people into the shop, the team have created an interactive wall where visitors can create their own artworks on a whiteboard and then enter their drawings into a competition to win shop vouchers.
BALTIC Shop
June Shop of the Month
The Manor Shop, Waddesdon Manor
The Manor Shop has had a complete restyle and features over 100 new products designed in-house and inspired by Waddesdon’s collections. The fabulous central tables reflect the Creatures and Creations exhibition, about Walter Rothschild and his early involvement in the Natural History Museum. Plant collection and animal naming and identification were key themes in merchandise development and buying, resulting in a visually stunning display.
The Manor Shop
Photos: Pascale Cumberbatch © Waddesdon Manor