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Abstract

  • The aim of the research is to assess the role of the museum shop in extending the learning experience in the museum. The research is situated in the theoretical framework of museum experiences and learning. It acknowledges environmental influences on learning, and of consumption sites that synthesise leisure and consumption and create memorable sensory experiences that engage customers.

  • The exploratory approach uses mixed methods to examine visitors' knowledge and experience of museums and their shops. The first phase of the research was undertaken with in-depth interviews to scope the experience of museum shops and their contribution to learning. The second phase was undertaken with visitors to the Imperial War Museum (IMW) in London through a convenience sample which elicited 150 responses to a semi-structured questionnaire. The research demonstrates the significance of the museum shop as a destination for museum visitors, and its role in creating experiences that can supplement the museum's educational priorities and a return to the everyday world of familiar objects.

Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.