Designing Your Church Gift Shop: 7 Tips

Designing Your Church Gift Shop: 7 Tips November 15, 2022

Gift shops are quickly becoming essential parts of big churches. They’re places for everyone to gather, catch up and welcome each other to another week of fellowship. Having a gift shop also offers a reliable source of income to support the church’s missions and community outreach.

Anyone can design a church gift shop to support its revenue and functionality without any guesswork involved. Check out these design tips to start the planning process this year.

1. Avoid a Bottleneck Entrance

People instinctively avoid shops that appear crowded. Bottleneck entrances will create this appearance even if the rest of the shop is empty because people will crowd by the gift shop doors. Avoid making a bottleneck entrance by placing displays away from the entrance and exit points. When the gift shop is more visually inviting, people will enjoy using it to socialize, meet their date for coffee or stop by for a journal to take notes during the Sunday sermon.

2. Include a Coffee Shop

Merging your church’s mission with the functionality of a gift shop is the best way to start your design process. Everyone will view it as an extension of their fellowship home. If your church focuses on creating a welcoming social environment, including a coffee shop is an excellent step in designing your church gift shop.

Bar stools, couches and chairs will be the perfect place for everyone to mingle and discuss the latest sermon or Bible study topics. Church leaders might talk with their mentees over cups of coffee or tea. It also invites everyone to spend more time among the gift shop products because they’ll see them while waiting in line for a hot beverage.

3. Add Impulse Purchase Products

People won’t need to buy books, journals and branded sweatshirts every Sunday, so impulse purchase products are essential to successful church gift shops. Place candy, gum and snacks by the register so visitors can grab them before sermons or group meetings.

Research shows 90% of consumers make impulse purchases in a retail environment, especially if they’re last-minute. Adding small products like breath mints, hand sanitizer or sodas helps ensure your church gift shop consistently pulls in revenue to support your charity work and community outreach.

4. Design a Power Wall

Never doubt the draw of a power wall. This retail term means displaying products on a wall behind sections people usually skip in a store, like the back corners. They’ll see the products from the front of the shop, find out what’s new and browse the items on other displays while they’re there.

Church gift shops could create a power wall of kids’ toys to draw families near display stands of family games, puzzles and other activities. Even placing popular items on a wall near church-branded sweatshirts and hats will increase the sale of those items to make the shop more successful.

5. Place Fixtures to Create Adventure

Display stands both help and hurt gift shops. They make browsing simple with turnable displays, but they also block the items available for purchase behind the stand. Use that opportunity to create a gift shop adventure. Fixtures like display stands, cardboard cutouts and signs encourage people to explore what’s next for them to browse while shopping.

6. Pick Inviting Colors

Choosing the best colors for displays, paint and furniture might take time, but it’s worth the effort. People may shop longer and buy more products around colors like yellow and orange because they can attract window shoppers and create a sense of urgency.

Church visitors may also feel drawn to displays with themed colors. If your church is in a beach town and offers beach-themed journals for sermon notes, creating display stands with seafoam greens, blues and sandy neutral colors will tell an inviting visual story that feels like home.

7. Layer Various Textures

No one wants to spend time in a cold environment that echoes their conversations — layer textures throughout your church gift shop to avoid this problem. Rugs on hardwood or tile floors make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. Accent pillows on couches over carpeted flooring create a homey environment. Each layered texture invites people to relax, which might mean spending more time browsing items or hanging out in the attached coffee shop.

Design the Best Church Gift Shop

When church leaders meet to discuss designing your church gift shop, bringing up these tips could make the process easier and more successful. You’ll encourage people to spend time in fellowship where they can purchase whatever they need and support the church’s outreach efforts by raising additional funds through the gift shop.


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