So you think you know all of the best shopping destinations in your town? And maybe you’re getting tired of all the same old places, the Walmarts, the Targets, etc…and you’re looking for something a little bit unique and different? You may actually have a hidden untapped resource right in your town! Where is that? The hospital gift shop!
I know, I know. Hospital gift shops historically have a bad reputation for being under-stocked, overpriced, and a place just to grab balloons and flowers for someone staying in the hospital. But hospital gift shops have changed! They are full of hidden goodies and deals that most people don’t even have a clue about! And because not everybody thinks to shop there, your purchases will be unique and different! Here are a few specific things to look for while you’re there!
- Hospital gift shops nowadays carry some fun and unique clothes. What they have isn’t just for “old ladies” anymore. And it’s not just hospital wear (i.e. scrubs, hospital logo shirts, or pajamas and robes for patients)! You can find fun and flirty sundresses for less than twenty dollars, jelly flip flops, motorcycle jackets, skirts, tops, pants, anything! These shops usually only carry a limited supply of each clothing item to ensure variety. So the lesson here is that what you purchase will not be worn by everyone else too! It will be unique and it will be beautiful! As an added bonus, the prices are reasonable too! As in any boutique shop, some items are more expensive (in the forty to fifty dollar range). But then there are the surprising deals like ten dollar jelly flip flops and fifteen dollar sundresses. These prices are on par with discount retailers but will have the added bonus of being unique and different.
Jewelry and Watches
- Most hospital gift shops today carry a good selection of jewelry. As with clothes, the items range from lower to higher. One gift shop even has an entire section of necklace and earring sets and separate bracelets for FIVE DOLLARS a piece! The best part is, the store only got in one or maybe two of each piece making them extremely unique! And even though they are five dollars, the jewelry is nice-looking. It does not look cheap. It’s great for everyday wear! Most stores also carry higher-end jewelry for around thirty dollars or so. Still quite reasonable! And as most stores only carry one of each piece, they are definitely unique and different! They also have watches at most hospital gift shops! These generally range from about ten dollars to twenty dollars. Can’t beat those deals, right?
- The advantage of hospital gift shops is that nostalgia is a big selling point in a hospital. Comfort food is taken to a new level at these gift shops! Who doesn’t remember the candies that an older relative (grandma or grandpa, maybe) gave them as a kid? For me (and many others most likely), its Werthers Butterscotch candies. Luckily most hospital gift shops, carry these and many other nostalgic treats. In fact, if you want to relive the tastes of your childhood, just check out the hospital gift ship. Gummy bears, butter mints, Werthers, sour patch kids, Paydays, etc… The list goes on and on. They also carry some lesser known favorites. Have you ever tried cinnamon bears? They are just like gummy bears but with a delicious mild cinnamon flavor.
- Now this is pretty much a no-brainer for hospital gift shops. Of course, they have stuffed animals! But if you haven’t noticed, toy stores don’t carry nearly as many stuffed animals as they used to…even though kids still love them (especially younger children). Hospital gift shops are a great place to look for these! Some carry the high-end Melissa and Doug brand in addition to the traditional fare. Melissa and Doug make lifelike, stand-up stuffed animals that include a four-foot giraffe, a life-size Dalmation and many more! The prices for these are obviously a bit higher but the delight they bring for both children and adults who buy them is worth every penny!
Sales and Clearance
- Hospital gift shops are just like any other retailer. This means they have sales and they put items on clearance! Most sales are weekly, and clearance is usually processed once a month or so. Go in to the ship and ask about the current and upcoming promotions and sales. And checkout the clearance items. Clearance usually ranges from fifty up to ninety percent off! You can find all kinds of things on clearance! Anything from beauty products, gifts, jewelry, clothing, and even food! And if you find good stuff at 75 to 90 percent off, buy it all up! Deals like that shouldn’t be passed up!
So now you know! Hospital gift shops aren’t what they used to be! They are unique boutique stores worthy of being a destination shopping spot. And as an added bonus, they are small store with small staffs and therefore the associates will give you individualized attention and will remember you if you are a regular shopper! So give the hospital gift shop a shot and see what unique goodies you can find!