Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Textiles and Clothing

First Advisor

Mary A. Littrell


Visiting museums rank among the top three activities for U.S. cultural tourists, who also enjoy shopping and seek pleasurable and educational experiences as part of their travels. Many museums expanded their retail operations during the 1990s. Costa and Bamossy (1995) was the only scholarly article about museum retailing published to date. They proposed a model that connected the goals of a museum store to key decision-makers and market segments, which served as the foundation for the initial conceptual model developed for this research. The purpose of this study was to explore how cultural museum stores protect and market the culture, using Spradley's (1979) definition of culture;Unstructured interviews with an open response format were the primary means to collect data. Questions focused on decision-makers, mission and goals, product selection and acquisition, and the retail environment. Twenty-two informants were interviewed, and included museum directors, store managers, and a cultural resource manager. They were associated with twelve museums across five U.S. Midwestern states that represented European-American (n = 6), Native American (n = 3), African-American (n = 2), and Latino-American (n = 1) cultures. Museum stores' annual gross sales ranged from 10,000 to 850,000;Two sets of goals were generated: "Store Goals" and "Product Goals." Store Goals included Curator, Revenue, Education, Cultural Pride, and Shopping as Entertainment. Product Goals included Curator, Education, Quality, Uniqueness, and Revenue. Revision of the initial conceptual model also incorporated relating the decision-makers of Board of Directors, Executive Director, Store Manager, and Cultural Expert to their influence on Store and Product Goals. Three goals emerged as relevant for the retail environment: Education, Cultural Pride, and Shopping as Entertainment. Store attributes of staff, displays, and interior design were linked as means by which these goals were achieved. Finally, purchase by consumer was broadened to include a two-by-two matrix of primary and secondary consumers;Emergence of the store and product goals promotes a linkage between cultural tourists and museum stores. The goals of Education, Cultural Pride, Shopping as Entertainment, Uniqueness, and Quality speak directly to the cultural tourist's motivation for traveling. Due to the lack of other scholarship, there is a strong need to continue studying museum stores.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Brecca Rhea Farr



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

122 pages