Fort Riley, Kansas

 

News

Museum’s gift shop under new management

By Jessica Healey | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | July 30, 2014

Visitors of the Cavalry and 1st Infantry Division museums will soon have a new and improved museum gift shop to patronize.

After several weeks of transition, the gift shop will soon be reorganized under new management with a greater focus on ways to best serve patrons.

The gift shop is located within the Cavalry Museum but also serves the nearby 1st Inf. Div. Museum. In the past, the shop had been run by private proprietors, but now, it will be run by a manager hired by the Friends of Fort Riley Museums organization.

For the first time, a gift shop manager and clerk will be hired in order to offer more flexibility to employees, as well as extend gift shop hours.

Stock will also be changing some – concentrating more on the history of Fort Riley and the 1st Inf. Div., as well as adding gifts suitable for retirements.

Books on Fort Riley’s ghost stories, compiled by the Historical and Archaeological Society of Fort Riley, are set to be available for purchase in the new gift shop.

“We plan on having more items for children as well, such as toy soldiers and history books for children that deal with the cavalry, the Army and American history,” said Robert Smith, director, Fort Riley museums, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. “The board would also like to see models of helicopters and tanks available.”

Efforts to bring more children’s items into the shop are the result of consumer feedback, Smith said. Often visitors traveling to Fort Riley want to buy something to bring back for a child in their life.

“The gift shop is always popular with kids, as well,” Smith said.

The museums see about 60,000 visitors each year.

Proceeds from the gift shop go back into the museum itself.

“The museum has a dual function – we teach Army history; we remember the Army’s past and its traditions,” Smith said. “We play a prominent role for veterans who come in to remember their time in the Army and in the 1st Inf. Div. We are also the face of the U.S. Army; we put our best face forward and try to be our most professional.”

The gift shop and many of the books it offers are popular with Soldiers looking to learn about specific Army history.

“The gift shop is important and an integral part to the museum,” Smith said. “We’re working very hard to bring it back up because we have a quality museum, and we want to have a quality gift shop.”
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