Alaska SeaLife Center

DISCOVERY SHOP — New Entrance 

Challenge

For many cultural attractions, it’s easy to overlook the importance of creating an inviting and unique retail operation to maximize guest visitation. That was the case with the SeaLife Center. The Aquarium’s store entrance was not pronounced and lacked the inviting feeling needed to attract guests. A combination of poor signage and lack of window displays and color made the storefront blend into the Aquarium’s foyer — an entryway with high ceilings and simple white walls. The position of the Center’s ticket counter also didn’t help — when guests purchase tickets, they have their backs to the storefront. 

Solution

As part of a retail overhaul, Wildlife Trading Company reconfigured the doorways to the shop by closing a doorway and creating two window displays to showcase many of the unique items offered at this location. To catch guests’ eyes as they enter the Center, Wildlife Trading Company painted the storefront a deep blue and added a wood accent trim around the doors and window displays to maintain the Aquarium’s rustic environment. A simple sign over the door accompanied with supportive imagery completed the storefront’s inviting marquee.

Wildlife Trading Company also revamped the interior of the shop with new fixtures and wall units that better merchandised the Alaskan-themed products, painted the walls with accent colors, and added signage and graphics to complete the retail renovation. A 300-square-foot “Made in Alaska” room was also added to the retail footprint, showcasing products, handcrafts and artwork made by Alaskan Natives. 

Result

The completely renovated Discovery Shop has proven to be a huge success, with a capture rate increase of 10% and per capita spending up nearly 34%.