Magazine article Art Business News

Rewriting the Rules of Retailing. (Be Our Guest)

Magazine article Art Business News

Rewriting the Rules of Retailing. (Be Our Guest)

Article excerpt

I've been called brash, stubborn and tenacious, As a student, it was even alleged I broke some behavioral rules at school.

As an adult, I know breaking rules is forbidden, but l have learned some rules can be rewritten. The easiest rules to rewrite are those we have imposed on ourselves.

I manufacture laminated plaquemounts. The process involves mounting a poster to a fiberboard, overlaminating it with a clear finish and beveling the edge with a colored foil.

Many of you have probably seen the garden-variety plaquemount at your local Wal-Mart. You may have thought these products were strictly for mass merchandisers who had no compassion or zeal for art.

You might be right about mass merchandisers. But you will be surprised to know some of the biggest art museums in the country, in cities like Philadelphia, Phoenix and Houston, didn't accept the rule about the product.

They rewrote it to suit their own purposes, They chose to sell plaque-mounted exhibition posters. These are images by some of the most famous artists ever, but ones you won't see taped to every university dorm wall, The end result: They sold thousands of plaquemounts to discriminating art lovers, those museum-goers you might have thought too stuffy to buy this kind of product.

What museum store managers saw was an attractive, well-made product with terrific price points. Their customers wanted more than a poster and loved the convenience of a ready-to-hang product.

We can re-examine any rule we've imposed on ourselves. Many retailers think of themselves as "custom framers" or "framing galleries" or some other "framing"-related definition. …

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