Themes in heritage merchandise

As English Heritage establishes itself as a stand-alone charity, one of the most  important ways of building income streams is to diversify the product ranges in the site shops and online to encourage visitors to monuments and the website to spend more. Individualised souvenirs remain a mainstay of the tourist offer, but production costs across such a large and varied property portfolio means that themed and generic heritage merchandise is an important part of the product mix. This is particularly important for the online shop being developed by the organisation, which must appeal to potential shoppers who may not be interested in very focused / site-specific items. 

The abbeys theme has been evolving recently, with architectural features and site silhouettes being used as icons supporting the organisational brand.  Some are inevitably more iconic than others.


Author: Ian Baxter

Heritage management / historic preservation academic at Heriot-Watt University; Vice-Chair of the Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS); Trustee of The Heritage Alliance. Obsessed by administrative histories of heritage organisations, heritage signs, and the design of site guidebooks.

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