Hotel gift shops are probably the grimmest retail experience of them all. Cheap and over-priced souvenirs gathering dust amongst threadbare carpet and sad mass-market paperbacks and alka seltzer packages does not make for a rewarding shopping experience.
At the Gladstone Hotel (http://www.gladstonehotel.com/index.html) in Toronto (Ontario) the experience is totally different and is an amalgam of carefully chosen art and design souvenir items that range from the sedate Maple Cookie Pin to the Limited edition “urban archeology” collection superimposing images of architecture onto reclaimed discarded bricks from Toronto’s landfills.
Not to be outdone with just a simple trendy gift store, the Gladstone has just launched their web site http://thesouvenirshop.ca/shop/. The site requires either Safari or Firefox web browser, but is worth going through the download and install of either browser. The site is simple, powerful, and effective. Imagine a campus store using this approach to sell to summer conference and visitor business.
And don’t forget to check out the recycled laptop sleeve: