SALEM - The Look Nook gift shop will celebrate its new, more spacious location on the ground floor concourse of Salem Regional Medical Center with a grand opening from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The shop had been tucked away on the first floor, just off of the State Street walkway, but moved to the more convenient, more visible location next to the new coffee shop known as Perks when the new concourse was completed as part of the patient bed tower project.
The new location is near the new elevators and the doorway to the new free parking garage. LuAnn Haddad, SRMC Vice President of Institutional Advancement, said the gift shop now has 600 square feet of space, which gives them an additional 100 square feet.
Ellen Mills, a volunteer at The Look Nook gift shop at Salem Regional Medical Center in Salem, displays some of the gift items available for infants and children. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The store accepts phone orders for gifts and flowers for delivery to hospital patients at 330-332-7252. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)
Gift shop manager Marty O'Gara said the new design and space gives them more flexibility in displays. Besides O'Gara, the staff includes assistant manager Janice Roach and about 15 volunteers. The hospital auxiliary operates the gift shop and donates money back to the hospital to buy items that help the patients.
"I think a lot of people don't realize the proceeds go back to the hospital. I think that's important," O'Gara said.
Michele Hoffmeister, SRMC Director of Public Relations, explained that the auxiliary makes an annual gift to the hospital every spring and selects patient care equipment they want purchased, using suggestions from department heads. When the Behavioral Health Care Center opened, the auxiliary purchased books for the library. Other purchases over the years have included rocking chairs for new mothers to use in the New Beginnings Family Care Center, blanket warmers, art work and other items.
The auxiliary first took over the hospital gift shop on Jan. 10, 1963 and has operated out of a handful of different locations.
"They've really touched every department throughout the hospital," Hoffmeister said.
The new gift shop location has been open since Feb. 3 and O'Gara said they've noticed more foot traffic and people just stopping by. Hours have been expanded to accommodate people being there earlier in the morning and later in the evening.
Calling the volunteers the backbone of the operation, she said they welcome new volunteers and they welcome new customers, including the general public, hoping they feel comfortable to come in and shop.
During the grand opening, customers will receive 15 percent off of all purchases and there will be drawings and new spring merchandise on display. The 50th person to visit will win a surprise gift. Normal operating hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Look Nook offers a variety of items, including flowers they get from the Giant Eagle Floral Department, mylar balloons which they can fill with helium, sundries and must-haves such as toothpaste, custom jewelry, purses, fashion scarves, clothing apparel, natural bath and body products and lotions, holiday merchandise, inspirational gift items and books, baby gifts, magazines, the Salem News and Morning Journal, puzzle books, chocolates, Abbott caramels, greeting cards, a variety of Snoozies (non-skid slippers), piggy banks, angels, checker sets, items for children such as coloring books and crayons, greeting cards, wall art, oversized stuffed animals and home decor.
They carry books by local author Karen Biery and prepare complimentary gift bags so gifts can be ready to give to a patient. Roach said they can put together a gift basket and accept phone orders for gifts and flowers that can be delivered to a patient's room. The gift shop can be reached at 330-332-7252 or by calling the hospital's main phone at 330-332-1551 and asking for the gift shop. The shop accepts all credit cards except American Express.
"We try to have a good selection of merchandise and we try to keep our prices reasonable," O'Gara said.