What is there to say about a gift shop? They are as numerous and varied as their clientele and their products, and its difficult to encompass the whole of them in a single article. </P> <P>Gift shops deal primarily in souvenirs, and usually the souvenirs are based on a topic or theme. Their products may include stuffed animals, apparel such as t-shirts, cards and postcards, handmade collectibles, arts and crafts and souvenirs of the particular venue the tourist is visiting. Some famous theme gift shops one can find in Americas malls include some of the following:
these can be found in metropolitan areas famed for sight-seeing, for historical events and for landmarks and promotional sites. A city such as New York, Paris or San Francisco will have numerous stores with souvenir items representing the Empire State Building, Arc De Triumph, Eiffel Tower or Golden Gate Bridge, as well as hundreds of food items (candies and chocolate are popular in most city-based gift shops), as well as coffees, teas, exotic spices, clothing accessories, posters and other promotional items all with the city's logo or place of note on them.
These gift shops are found in tourist attractions throughout the country and Europe, and their stock is based on the particular venue at which they are found. Disney Stores, for example, feature huge selections of Disney-oriented souvenir products that either are modeled on classic Disney characters or feature new or newly promoted Disney media. For example, a recent cartoon movie release may find its way onto t-shirts, sleepwear, swimwear, hoodies, sweat shirts, costume collections, watches, bags and totes and even fragrances.
At the Disney store and theme park gift store as well, there is a third kind of gift shop attraction: character-based gifts. No Disney theme park, attraction or store would be without dolls, toys, mechanized figures and models from characters such as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Lighting McQueen from Cars or Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.
The fourth kind of store to buy a gift in is usually the educational or ecological kind, such as might be found at a zoo, an aquarium or a museum. At the San Francisco Zoo, just to give one example, a single animal such as Tatiana the Tiger might be found on a Tatiana Tiger T-shirt (Don't Taunt the Tiger it warns), Tiger mug, Tiger pet bowl, Tiger baseball jersey, Tiger throw pillow, iPhone case, mousepad, poster, glasses (for wearing or for drinking from) and coaster set!)
Other products that can be found in varying gift shops might include accessories (belts, jewelry, hats, boots, shoes), books and music (CDs, DVDs and magazines), electronics (notebooks, cameras, phones, computer accessories, software), health and beauty products (bath, hair, body, nutritional products, perfumes, makeup), promotional items (around-town attractions and services), clothing (including tops, swimwear, sleepwear, intimates, perhaps even jackets and suits), floral arrangements and gift baskets, home and garden decor and tools, sports apparel and fan gear (including souvenir items such as autographed balls and posters), baby and child items (including toys, kids books and travel gear), cooking items (gourmet foods, cookware and cooking tools, cook books) and even pet supplies (food, treats, toys and training manuals).
Finally, one can always find the products that are staples in any gift store: candy, gift cards, gift guides, scrap book materials and candles.
Why patronize a gift shop? Well, it keeps the economy going, it supports the attraction, museum or zoo (since admission prices are usually not enough to cover operating expenses) and it gives the tourist a few nifty souvenirs to take home.
Its great fun to sip coffee at your cubicle with a Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art mug, resting it on its Venus Rising from the Waves coaster, and have that cute secretary stop by and say, Wow, you went there? All this happens because you patronized a gift shop.