The Shop at Freemasons’ Hall has been named Best Shop at the Cultural Enterprises Awards 2021. The winners were announced on 26 May during a virtual presentation ceremony
After several months closed during lockdown, the Shop now is open again to the public. The new Shop at Freemasons Hall was launched in December 2020 at the Covent Garden headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and forms parts of their wider strategy to open Freemasonry up to the Public – educating visitors about Freemasonry – who Freemasons are and what they do.
Visitors can experience an enhanced retail experience and the shop stocks an extensive range of high-quality gifts and souvenirs related to Freemasonry and to the Museum of Freemasonry which see over 40,000 visitors a year.
Perry Bushell, head of trading at Freemasons’ Hall, said: 'I’m completely delighted. The new shop fits perfectly within the Grade II listed art deco building and is twice the square footage of the previous shop. The way the customer flow has been designed, alongside the Freemasons’ brand, delivers on a commercial level, as well as enhancing the visitor experience. The shop is also contemporary and is now the perfect environment to showcase our unique product range. Thank you so much to the Association of Cultural Enterprises – we are thrilled.'
The new shop was designed by specialist design studio Lumsden, which respected the heritage of Freemasonry while designing a new and improved visitor experience that combines Savile Row tailoring with an enriched museum gift shop look and feel.
Lumsden was chosen as partner on the project because it specialises in working in historic and protected buildings throughout the world, and it ensured that the new shop was sympathetically designed to complement the Grade II* listed interiors.
Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, said: 'This is an amazing achievement for us in a short space of time. Perry Bushell and his team did a great job launching this fantastic space. The shop provides a retail offering, which will match the high quality of the existing visitor experience, while visitors can enjoy an eye-catching shop with a wide product range for all ages. With the creation of a new public Bar and Café, as well as the launch of our new Digital Tours, the building will start to serve not just our own membership, but members of the public as well.'
The new shop offers an extensive range of merchandise for both members and visitors to the headquarters of UGLE, the governing body of Freemasonry in England and Wales. A comprehensive selection of new products is available, which includes books, a range of Freemason regalia, men's grooming ranges, ladies’ jewellery, scarves and ties, as well as several gift ranges based on the museum, library, art deco and Freemasonry in general.
The expanded product range can be viewed here, while a new website to support the redesigned shop will be launched in July 2021.