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LA County Coroner Wants to Raise Dead Sales at Their Gift Shop

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A beach towel from the Coroner's office gift shop


A beach towel from the Coroner's office gift shop
Shoppers with a bent for the macabre may already know that the Los Angeles County Coroner's office runs a gift shop called "Skeletons in the Closet." Toe tag lapel pins, chalk body outline notepads and key rings, a "My First Skeleton" kit, suncatchers, beach towels, travel mugs and more are on sale as a sincere, albeit quirky, side project of the department. Now the Coroner's office is considering expanding their sales scope past their usual clientele of detectives and law enforcement personnel, according to the Washington Post.

A unique marketing opportunity, what is thought to be the only coroner's department in the nation to have its own in-house retail line, some within the department are urging those in charge consult with a promotions expert in order to raise the store's profile and boost sales, tapping into what could be a thriving market.

Though adventurous tourists get tipped off via tour books, and some tours stop by, the people coming to the coroner's office for a visit aren't often in the mood to shop: "The department has deliberately downplayed the store, mindful that most people who seek out the coroner's department are bereaved relatives."

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Right now the store is operating at a yearly loss, but not everyone is sold on the idea of raising the dead sales through promotion: "Marketing experts said the merchandise would likely be popular, although it could perhaps reinforce foreigners' perception of American cities as breeding-grounds for violence.