New York Magazine once said, "Moss brokered the marriage of the store and the museum..."
Museums now occupy the world of the blockbuster, competing with each other for exhibitions and talent as well as audiences, and competing with all other forms of entertainment for their customer’s attention, dollars and time. It has become essential that every department, including retail, provide maximum value to the Enterprise that a modern museum has become. Declining attendance, donor fatigue, siloed operations and dated technology complete the context for urgency of change in the museum world.
Moss Bureau offers museums a new retail paradigm, one that looks beyond fiduciary responsibility to position museum retail as a full partner with other departments through a specialized service that addresses all aspects of a retail operation. The process is both analytic and highly curatorial, focusing deeply on the attributes and opportunities provided by the museum. This bespoke approach to both merchandise and presentation renders the ubiquitous generic shop obsolete. The Post-Generic museum store has a proprietary branded identity and is a platform for both extending the museum's mission and driving higher sales revenue.
Since 2013, Moss Bureau has been in the field working with museums across the country. With some we analyze and recommend, and with others we follow through to a full implementation. This work has led to a refinement of our methods and expectations of what can reasonably be accomplished in the real world context of donor politics, shifting priorities, capital campaigns for expansion, and myriad demands on time and money.
To date we have worked with the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, the High Museum Atlanta, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Jewish Museum, New York. Work with the latter two is ongoing.