Richard III Leicester, getting exhibition ready.

Richard III Leicester

As the world awaited news at Leicester University of whether the skeleton found in Leicester was indeed the skeleton of Richard 3rd.  Local museum, The Guildhall, Leicester, braced itself for a rush of visitors, including Richard III enthusiasts from around the world.   The Guildhall, adjacent to Leicester Cathedral is an iconic building built in 1390.  Over the centuries it has been used for many purposes, including Court room, cells, local library (one of the first in the country) and local police station (one of the first in the country).  The decision by Leicester City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, to temporarily house the Richard III museum here, is likely to become the Guildhall’s most notable use this century. Guildhall_Leicester_Richard_III_Exhibit Richard III is intended to be buried at the Cathedral and a dedicated visitor centre built for him later this year (2013).  In the meantime, the insatiable appetite for Richard III will be satisfied at the Guildhall.  Leicester City Council have created an exciting exhibit of the search for Richard III, including touch screens and the use of technology.  The exhibit is relatively small, but will no doubt be of interest to many. Getting the Guildhall ready to capitalise on the influx of Richard III visitors was the job of Corin Birchall from Kerching Retail.  As part of a county wide project to improve the commerciality and sustainability of museums and attractions across Leicester, funded by the Arts Council, Kerching retail looked at the Guildhall’s retail offering and examined all current and potential sources of income for this historic and landmark building in Leicester city centre.  Although the King’s exhibit will generate a lot of interest now, the longer term sustainability of the museum needs to be considered. Kerching Managing Director explains “The decision to host the Richard 3rd museum at the Guildhall in Leicester, has created an unprecedented opportunity to generate income for this historic site, with traffic numbers expected to be far greater than typical visitor numbers.  This is only short-term however.  The job is to use this increase in visitor numbers to highlight the Guildhall’s rich offering as well.  The Guildhall is a real treasure for Leicester, including many uses of note”:
  • One of the countries first police stations
  • One of the countries first libraries
  • Cell block, occupied by James Cook (one of the last reported use of Gibbet in UK)
These treasures of our history are preserved so well, since the extensive renovation in the 1920’s. Our job was to help the terrific staff at the Guildhall engage visitors, tell stories, share the history and bring it to life – enticing people to seek out more.  We have seen the Richard III dig bring history to life again, this is the role of staff in a museum, on a daily basis.  “Did you know you can get married here?” “Did you know we have regular music events here?”  The Guildhall offers so much more than most Leicester visitors and residents are aware of.  We looked at retail theatre, visual merchandising, the use of music, scent and touch in a retail display.  The greater emphasis was on what the staff did and said to visitors. Richard_III_BooksThere are clearly retail opportunities for Richard III merchandise, so that visitors can take home souvenirs from their visit.  The role of staff here is not to force it on people, (anyone for a Galaxy bar at the WHSmith counter!!) but highlight its benefits.  Three books of Richard III are available in the shop, staff have been encouraged to read these and look for opportunities to introduce the biographies as visitors ask relevant questions about the King.  Similarly, souvenir letter knife swords, pendants and pocket money takeaways need to be demonstrated and made to look relevant and exciting. Kerching Retail are excited and proud to play a part in this historic find, and help worthy organisations benefit from the public interest.

Are you a museum or retail outlet?

If you are a museum or retail outlet and think you could benefit from Kerching Retail reviewing your retail or commercial offering, please get in touch today. Tel: 01455 203 206 Email: Other projects Kerching Retail have been involved in include: Preparing Stratford, London retailers for the 2012 Olympics.

Who are Kerching Retail?

Kerching – Making your till ring, are a retail consultancy dedicated to helping Retailing operations increase their turnover, profitably. We are a small consultancy, with big clients across many sectors of specialist retail.  We are currently working with Leicestershire County Council, Roland UK, Leicester Shire Promotions, Wellingborough BID, North Kesteven Council, Broxtowe Borough Council, Newham Borough Council – London (Stratford City) to help retailers on their patch.  We have a pragmatic approach and appreciate their isn’t much money around for promotions and advertising – so we have to be creative.  We create money to reinvest, by focusing on displays, layout, windows and other areas that don’t involve spending money. We are not happy until we have successfully increased your turnover. Feel free to get in touch and have a chat about how we can help.  

Written by

Corin Birchall is a Retail Sales & Marketing Consultant and founder of “Kerching Retail - helping to make your till ring”. His consultancy works throughout the UK and Europe. Corin is an active writer, coach and public speaker, helping to develop and grow a wide range of businesses & business leaders from Leisure and Retail sectors

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