WINNER: MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING CANCER CTR.
ENTRY: THE GIFT SHOP AT 1275
THE BIG IDEA: The typical hospital gift shop is a drab affair managed by volunteers that offers an uninspired inventory of the usual suspects: candy, cards, balloons, bottled beverages and maybe some flowers. If you're a customer, you want to get in and out as fast as possible and you only go in if you really need something.
Gift Shop at 1275 has a different mission. It seeks to be a destination, instead of a desperation, stop. One enticement: a coffee shop component offering not just hot and cold beverages but a wide selection of freshly made grab-and-go items and gourmet snacks. It features a new front window counter seating area overlooking the street (York Avenue) where customers can relax and enjoy some of the soft classical music playing in the background. The freshly brewing coffee is a powerful merchandising tool for the space, enticing passers-by from the busy concourse outside.
The 1,500-sq.ft. shop, located in the hospital's main lobby, has the feel of a hotel shop, with a staff specifically picked for their customer service skills. It offers an extensive health and beauty line as well as a limited selection of garments, since many visitors to the cancer center end up staying longer than they originally planned.
The shop regularly offers web coupons for items like coffee and merchandise to lure in hospital staff and the street traffic helps keep Shop on 1275 meet its fiscal responsibilities, which allow it to be self-sustaining.
PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:
G. William Baglione
gift shop manager
director of food and nutrition services
food and beverage Manager
Juan Vitari, Janice Garcia, Lisa Gomez, Ricardo Santos, Ellen Flanagan, Sonia Leite