This summer, visitors to Acadia National Park and Cape Hatteras National Seashore can extend their park experiences when they shop the newly renovated America’s National Parks stores. The designs prominently feature iconic views from each site and remind visitors that their purchases support the park. Furthermore, the expanded footprints of each location will help better accommodate growing visitation at both parks.
Inspired by designs submitted by students from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, the America’s National Parks Store at Acadia National Park—located in the Hulls Cove Visitor Center—is designed to encourage visitors to interact with the store in a way that complements their overall park visit. “Instead of using the usual section signs indicating to the customer what is presented in the rack, we went with adjectives such as ‘Explore,’ ‘Observe,’ and ‘Respect,’” says Phil Cooney, EN merchandising manager. “They invoke a need for the customer to explore the store and think about how they will spend their time in the park.” Early sales results indicate the approach is working well.
New and exciting educational products were developed for the America’s National Parks stores at Acadia and Cape Hatteras to support the parks’ interpretive and recreational themes. At Cape Hatteras, the product assortment was planned by a product development team based on category analysis, which identified apparel and kids’ items as having the most expansion potential. We also launched a new Outer Banks Forever product line, which includes an Adopt-A-Turtle plush. A donation is made to Outer Banks Forever, the park’s Friends Group, for every turtle plush sold, fostering an even deeper connection between visitors and the park.
The merchandising standards and visual displays at the Acadia and Cape Hatteras stores create an easier shopping experience for visitors and more-efficient store operations for staff. The branded in-store signage, new uniforms and lanyards, and key messaging better tell the story of how our park stores and staff support America’s national parks.
Photo: A view of the America’s National Parks Store at Acadia National Park. The store is located in the park’s Hulls Cove Visitor Center.