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FIT FOR A QUEEN - Stacks gives the Queen Mary good merchandising


 

Stacks is more than the newest gift shop on the Queen Mary: it’s also the first retail venture to open on Long Beach’s iconic and long-struggling attraction since Delaware North, the massive amusement-property-management company, came aboard late last September. It’s a very credible and encouraging debut.

     
   (left) Everette Hoard, retail supervisor in the forward end. (right) the aft end.

 

The merchandise is well-chosen but generic: T-shirts, teddy bears, mugs, keychains and a variety of books about the Queen Mary. There is absolutely nothing like the embarrassing, shocking-pink and lime-green plastic coffee mugs that the Queen’s longtime owner and operator—the RMS Foundation and QSDI—tried to sell when they opened their brand shop in the mid 1990s, nor the bloody glass eyeballs that were the “highlight” of the Ghosts and Legends Shop.

The name, Stacks, references the new and well-designed branding of the ship, which incorporates the Queen Mary’s the smoke stacks into a logo that we see popping up everywhere. It replaces the somewhat tired crown, which I believe Disney first created as a logo and QSDI then re-used for its extended tenure.


               

Located on the port side of the Promenade Deck, the shop occupies an area that before World War II was a passenger writing room and after the war provided travelers with a radio telephone facility. The space was extended eight to 10 feet onto the deck when the Queen Mary was converted into a tourist attraction.

Retail supervisor Everette Hoard oversaw the build/repair for this latest incarnation, along with Delaware North’s merchandising people and the Queen’s maintenance and engineering staff. The work is good.

  
               

Colors, carpet and lighting are well coordinated. Hoard selected birch-look laminate as a backdrop for shelving to match surrounding original wood. He is polishing the metal work as time permits and also cleaning off orange paint that painters slopped on the metal and woodwork. (Use of a drop cloth and masking tape should be mandatory for all Queen Mary paint crews, regardless of how “careful” they are.)   

                          
                           
The donated art deco sideboard.

Stacks’ furnishings include original Queen Mary pieces that Hoard “liberated” from various executive offices, as well as a period sideboard (very nice, but not original) that was donated to the ship. It all combines well with the classic photos of the ship.

The eventual extent of Delaware North’s merchandising and retail program remains to be seen, but Stacks is a well-conceived and handsome first foray.

For a more complete review of merchandising possibilities on the Queen Mary see the article from our Alternative Visions website at: 

       http://www.sterling.rmplc.co.uk/visions/alter6.html

And for a more complete article on the history of the room itself see:

       http://www.sterling.rmplc.co.uk/visions/rtrm.html
  
STACKS
ON PROMENADE DECK OF THE QUEEN MARY • 1126 QUEENS HWY • LONG BEACH 90802 • 562.499.1759


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