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URMC / Strong Memorial Hospital / Friends of Strong / The Best of Friends Blog / July 2023 / Hospital Gift Shop to Close, Reopen Under New Management

Hospital Gift Shop to Close, Reopen Under New Management

The Friends of Strong Gift Shop will transition its operations to a retail company that specializes in hospital gift shop management nationally—bringing expanded services, longer operating hours and more merchandise selection to Strong Memorial Hospital’s gift shop customers.

“As is the case with so many businesses—large and small—the financial impacts of the pandemic along with continued supply chain and inflationary pressures have made it impossible for us to continue operating the Gift Shop independently,” shares Sandy Arbasak, Director of Friends of Strong. “We’re pleased to have found a way to maintain and improve store services in a way that benefits the hospital and is financially sustainable for Friends of Strong.”

Arbasak said the Gift Shop plans to close for remodeling on Thursday, Sept. 6, with a targeted grand re-opening date of Monday, Oct. 2.

Friends of Strong is actively working with current gift shop staff to help them find employment elsewhere or with the new store operators.  

Families and Patients at the Forefront

Friends of Strong Memorial Hospital is in negotiations with Cloverkey, a family-owned company with more than 40 years of hospital gift shop experience, national reach, and a streamlined supply chain which offers much of the same great merchandise you’ve come to love, with an eye toward cost savings and lower prices.

As a family-owned and operated business, Cloverkey strives to place families and patients at the forefront of their customer service and offerings, with an emphasis on the same values and behaviors we at URMC know so well.

“We see ourselves as part of the entire continuum of care on the hospital campus and are committed to upholding the hospital’s standards of care,” says Gwynne Gillette, Chief Operating Officer of Cloverkey. “We are honored to be selected as a gift shop partner by Friends of Strong, and are committed to operating the new Gift Shop as an extension of the Friends of Strong Memorial Hospital mission.”

Shopping at the new store will still support patient- and family-centered care initiatives throughout Wilmot Cancer Center, Strong Memorial and Golisano Children’s Hospitals. Once the new Gift Shop opens, Cloverkey will provide a portion of store revenues back to Friends of Strong, who will use those proceeds to fund programs and initiatives that are important to the hospital’s patient care mission as they have always done.

Familiar and Expanded Services

After the Oct. 2 reopening, the Gift Shop will operate with expanded store hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends to support third shift and weekend employees, as well as visitors.

Plans for the new store include an expanded assortment of UR Medicine logo apparel, a customer loyalty program, and an extensive web store offering free same-day delivery to hospital patients from a selection that includes virtually all items available for sale in the gift shop.

The new Gift Shop will also continue to support other Friends of Strong initiatives, including “Round Up for Friends of Strong” and selling the Pet Therapy calendar.

Written by Matt Ulakovic

Susan Sullivan | 7/13/2023

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