Developing Downtown’s Retail Strategy

Developing Downtown’s Retail Strategy
Open on Main, the Downtown Memphis Commission’s (DMC) retail activation initiative will, once again, be open for business at two locations beginning May 2018. As before, the DMC’s retail-incubation initiative is designed to address several key goals including activating empty storefronts, improving the pedestrian experience, raising awareness about available commercial properties, and providing local makers and entrepreneurs a low-risk way to test their business concept Downtown.
As part of the DMC’s work with the Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive Plan and the upcoming Downtown Memphis Master Plan, the DMC has developed a Downtown Retail Strategy. This work will continue to evaluate and analyze market conditions, identify existing supply and likely future demand, and utilize strategic positioning and psychographic data. The Downtown Retail Strategy will serve as a market-based framework to help guide the DMC’s future retail recruitment and retention efforts.
“The DMC believes that a multi-faceted approach is needed to strengthen the climate for retail and this initiative is part of our overall retail strategy,” stated Brett Roler, Vice President of Planning and Development for the Downtown Memphis Commission. “Additionally, successful retail needs a strong customer-base to be sustainable over time. We’ve been deliberate about growing the Downtown population through proactive residential development and new investment in office recruitment.”
Those efforts are now paying dividends with over 3,800 residential units in the development pipeline or completed since 2012. The DMC has also seen key office commitments including ServiceMaster, Orion Federal Credit Union, Southern Sun Asset Management, Wunderlich Securities, Oden, Leo Events, and All World Project Management. And the amount of new retail our Downtown can support grows as we increase our residential and daytime population.
Retail customers are attracted to a safe and clean environment, while retailers seek active, engaging, and vibrant spaces. The DMC believes the 70-plus potential shop-keepers who completed the formal application process recognize our growing Downtown core as just such a place. And while Downtown is still one of the safest precincts in Memphis, the DMC has made a significant investment in improving safety and hospitality Downtown. The DMC’s Blue Suede Brigade now patrol an expanded portion of Downtown daily to greet visitors and help augment the Memphis Police Department’s efforts.
Increasing retail options Downtown is a high priority. While Open on Main is a highly visible component of this work, it’s actually part of a broader and more comprehensive strategy.
Open on Main – May 2018 Shop Details:
The first two tenants will both open their doors the week of May 1. B Collective will occupy the space at 145 S Main St., bringing a collection of local artists together to create a unique hyper-local boutique shopping experience. Across the street at 100 Peabody Place, Mosal Arts will bring an energetic art gallery experience with rotating events, celebrity guests, and happenings throughout the month.
B Collective.
Owner/artist – Bridget Ann
Featured local artists:
Whitney Winkler Art – fine art/ watercolorist
Erica Bodine – Pottery
Caleb Sweazey – wood home furnishings
Aislinn Bowles – children’s clothing/blankets/etc
Paper, Cloth and Glass – Lino prints
Estes Designs – copper jewelry
901drift – MS river driftwood jewelry
Johanna wayland-smith – fine art/Memphis bridge paintings
War Ink – hats & tshirts/memphis themed
Andy Torres – photography
Erika Roberts Studio – fine art /southern themed scenes
Jess Tinsley Art – fine art/ modern
Somidecor – African textiles/ pillows
MB Designs – Variety of city prints
Dorothy Art – prints/ pillows
Stockroom vintage – vintage items (also the interior decorator for 147 s Main)
Jessie’s Garden – soaps/lotions/masks/lipgloss/etc
Foxglove Pharmacy – men’s soaps, beard oil/ etc
Randomly Refurbished – reclaimed wood home furnishings
Be the Light – candles
Patty Dell – children’s author/ poet

Mosal Arts
Owner/Artist – Mosal Morszart
Grand Opening Celebration – Thursday, May 3, 1pm-7pm.
Late Night Paint Mixer with Celebrity Creative Host, Christie Taylor – Friday, May 4, 9pm.

The 2018 Open on Main initiative was created in partnership with Belz Enterprises.
The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), is an independent development agency charged with developing Downtown for a better Memphis and Shelby County. The DMC represents the official partnership between local government and the private business community in Downtown’s development and works to make Downtown Memphis a better place to work, live, learn, invest and visit. The work done by the DMC benefits all of Memphis and Shelby County by developing a stronger and more vibrant city core. The DMC is not funded by any city or county taxes.
For more information on the Downtown Memphis Commission, or one of our five affiliate boards, please visit

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