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Why Museum Store Sunday Matters More


By Stuart Hata, Susan Tudor and Emily Kowalski

Museum Store Sunday is happening this year on November 29 during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. While this year’s event will look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission and sense of celebration behind this special day remain true and timely. Devoted to advocacy on behalf of nonprofit retail, and encouraging direct community engagement through visitation and sales in participating cultural institutions, Museum Store Sunday is more vital than ever to the world’s museums and their stores. Whether a museum participates in this global celebration with in-store promotions and limited visitor capacities, or with an online store and virtual events, museum stores stand to increase their profile and reinforce their essential role within their institutions and communities.

In these times, we believe Museum Store Sunday will resonate more than ever with consumers and museum visitors, persuading them to shop and “Be a Patron” at their favorite museum stores. Not only are these patrons interested in finding inspiring, creative, and educational gifts for friends and family; they want to lend much-needed support to their local cultural institutions. They are aware of the prolonged museum closures, the furloughed and laid-off staff, and that devastating impact on their communities. We believe the public will consciously contribute to and support their favorite cultural institutions during this holiday season, and purposely shop at their local or favorite museum stores, whether in-store or online or both.

More than sixteen hundred museum stores representing five continents, twenty-three countries, and all fifty United States plus the District of Columbia, will offer inspired shopping at cultural institutions on Museum Store Sunday. Since every venue is unique, each store’s approach to this international event and shopping campaign will be different. We acknowledge that some museums and their stores may be closed on Museum Store Sunday due to COVID-19 regulations or, customers may prefer to stay at home. Therefore, online shopping is a great opportunity for everyone to still shop and support museums during the holiday season. A handy resource for online museum stores can be found here.

Museum Store Sunday is our annual global day to highlight and communicate to communities the value of nonprofit retail, with its curated products and unique shopping experiences. Proceeds from museum store purchases directly support the missions and programs of museums and play a vital role in helping arts, science, and other cultural nonprofits educate and thrive during these uncertain times. Shop and support museum stores on November 29 and thank you for being a patron on Museum Store Sunday.


STUART HATA is the Director of Retail Operations for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the de Young and Legion of Honor and Co-Chair of the Museum Store Sunday Committee.

SUSAN TUDOR is the Director of Retail Operations for the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida and Co-Chair of the Museum Store Sunday Committee.

EMILY KOWALSKI is the Communications Consultant for the Museum Store Association.