Sunday May 18, 2008
Mayor Jerry Abramson is in Las Vegas today and tomorrow, meeting with a variety of national retail companies to sell them on opening stores in Louisville.
Abramson is attending the spring convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers, which draws 50,000 people, including leading American and international retailers.
“This is a chance for me to sit down, face to face, with the companies and persuade them to come to Louisville,” Abramson said. “We have a need for a variety of stores across our city, in virtually every neighborhood.”
He will be meeting with dozens of companies including, McCormick & Schmick, a seafood restaurant, Steve and Barry’s, a popular clothing store, Saks Fifth Avenue and major retailers Lowe’s, Target and Office Depot.
He is also meeting with General Growth Properties, which owns Oxmoor Center and Mall St. Matthews.
Abramson will be sharing with the companies the results of the recently released Louisville Retail Study. That study said that Louisville is the retail hub for 1.36 million people in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. As a whole, the study concluded that Louisville has a surplus of retail services, but needs more clothing, electronic and appliance stores.
Numerous Louisville developers and development companies will be attending the convention and Abramson will be hosting a breakfast for them on Monday morning. Abramson will be joined on the trip by Bruce Traughber, the city’s director of Economic Development, and John Fischer, director of the city’s retail recruitment division.
Abramson also has invited mayors of 10 cities — Boston, Miami, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, Atlanta, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Newark, Jacksonville, and Oakland, CA — to meet with him to discuss retail in urban areas.
Abramson wants to spur a national discussion about how mayors can work with companies to spur more retail in underserved neighborhoods. That meeting is scheduled for Monday evening.