By Frank Arre, Navy Museum Store Manager
Happy New Year!
I am pleased to report that in its first month of operation (December 2011), the newly reopened Navy Museum Store (under NHF control) had gross sales in excess of $12,000. These figures are in large part due to the overwhelming response and visitation of tenants of the Washington Navy Yard.
A little history about myself: I am a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer (YNC – Flagwriter) whose last official duty station was the Naval Historical Foundation (NHF) working for then, President, ADM James L. Holloway III, USN (Ret.). I arrived in 1996 and was, at that time, the Museum Gift Shop Manager. In 1997 I also assumed duties as Office Manager and handled all daily administrative and financial duties of the NHF. I officially retired from the Navy in February 1998 and stayed on at the NHF until 2005 when I departed for a short time to undertake another venture. I returned to the NHF in 2007 and assumed my old duties as Office Manager until 2009. I again left for a short period and was called back in 2011 asking if I would be willing to assume the position as NHF Historical Services Manager and to head up the resurrection of the Navy Museum Store, which was in much need of a facelift. I was delighted at the opportunity and returned with the high expectations of bringing back a much needed addition to both the Navy Yard and the NHF.
With the help of my Head Clerk, James DeVito, we spent the entire month of November cleaning, painting and renovating the Museum Store in preparation for our reopening in December. We notified the Navy Yard through word of mouth, distribution of flyers, and billboards that the Museum Store would reopen its doors. We started from scratch, ordering all new merchandise and incorporating our quarterly used book sale, hoping the new merchandise and well-followed book sale would be the stimulus we needed, and it worked!
We now have a steady stream of loyal Navy Yard customers who visit us, sometimes daily, to check out our used book selection and new merchandise which arrives daily. I have also added a much needed notary service to the Navy Yard. In this facet, both the Navy Federal Credit Union and Bank of America located here at the Yard, refer all their customers who need notary services to me. This, in turn, brings even more customers in and gives us added exposure. We also plan on incorporating an on-line store later this year to increase our sales and have purchased a souvenir penny machine which should be arriving this month. These two added additions should be a significant boost to our revenue.
I would just like to thank everyone for their support during our renovation project and I look forward to managing the store and assisting our tourist customers, NHF members, and tenants of the Navy Yard in their shopping needs.
And last but not least, if you happen to have any used military-themed books (or cookbooks) you would like to donate for our used book collection, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can either arrange for shipping or pick your books up if you live in the D.C. Metro area. My number at the store is (202) 889-2212 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Your donations are tax-deductible and a part of the proceeds from these sales go to Navy-Marine Corps Relief.
Visit the store online at museumstore.navyhistory.org.