GvilleSC

The State of Downtown Retail

2874 posts in this topic

Passing through downtown today on a quick adventure home, I decided to drive down Main to look at the new additions, like the Sterling Square statue. But what I was left with was a sick and worried feeling in my stomach. I had read posts talking about local shops closing, but not until today when I saw the signs in windows did it really hit me. It was the Sunshine of Greenville's sadly hung 'store closing' signs that are still haunting my thoughts.

I see this as a terrible thing to lose local retailers, but I also see the potential of what COULD come. Local or National retailers. A new day for downtown retail could be around the corner. Does anyone see a chain coming in and filling these spaces? I'm still not sure what to think.

On another note, there were a group of about 4 individuals outside of the old Subway location on North Main. They seemed to be looking at the building and either discussing renovations or something or the sort... Does anyone know of what could be coming to this site?

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It was the Sunshine of Greenville's sadly hung 'store closing' signs that are still haunting my thoughts.

I've never heard of this Sunshine place and I've been pretty familiar with what's downtown mostly. What was it?

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I've never heard of this Sunshine place and I've been pretty familiar with what's downtown mostly. What was it?

I've never been in there, but I believe it's retail. It's in the attractive pink building on the corner of Main and North St.

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There are a lot of vacant stores downtown these days, but its just a transitional thing I think. Not every business can be successful... what is that statistic on how many businesses fail each year? I think that is why Greenville needs to see a national retailer invest in Main St. That will really solidify the market there, and act as an "anchor" of sorts, which will give more psychological comfort (less percieved risk) to investors.

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There are a lot of vacant stores downtown these days, but its just a transitional thing I think. Not every business can be successful... what is that statistic on how many businesses fail each year? I think that is why Greenville needs to see a national retailer invest in Main St. That will really solidify the market there, and act as an "anchor" of sorts, which will give more psychological comfort (less percieved risk) to investors.

It seems like a lot of places are going out of business right now, but its because there hasn't been a lot of closings in awhile. Normal ebb and flow of business transitions Main Street, and for some reason a lot of businesses are going down at one time. It wouldn't be noticed if it was one store every month, but right now it is about six.

This happens about every five years.

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I've never heard of this Sunshine place and I've been pretty familiar with what's downtown mostly. What was it?

It replaced GNC. I used to go into GNC from time to time, but I've not set foot in Sunshine of Greenville once since it's been there. Too bad.

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I agree that this is the normal ebb and flow of small business. Downtown is not alone. This happens on Woodruff Road and elsewhere, too. It's just not as noticable with all the clutter out there.

My question is this: When newer business crop up, do we expect them to crop up along North Main or do we expect them to crop up along South Main and Augusta Streets in the West End now?

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If this has been mentioned before, I missed it, but Intuition is closing as well. That particular block should be the best one for retail, since it is with O.P. Taylor and Mast General.

I really do think that this does point out the need for a new anchor in the vicinity though. I wish something would happen between Piazza Bergamo and Washington St. (woolworth)

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We discussed this awhile back, but in a different thread. I am aware that the City is working on attracting major retailers to downtown, but how much time remains before we see one is not clear at present. :dontknow:

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Some of these clsoings may have to do with lease renewals. It is possible that when renewals come along, the Landlords are asking fir higher rents than what the retailers can afford. But the restaurants can afford to pay them so the Landlords ask the higher rents knowing they can probubly replace the retailers with a bar or restaurant.

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It replaced GNC. I used to go into GNC from time to time, but I've not set foot in Sunshine of Greenville once since it's been there. Too bad.

Ok, I saw it today finally. The signage was so small I could barely make out what it was or what they did? Could that have been part of the problem? I mentioned the same thing with the Bus system. The GTA doesn't really seem to do anything the sell themselves. My business is growing and I see myself moving out of the house into a separate location soon. I've been working hard to sell my "brand" and when we move into a dedicated office/studio space signage and other "mindshare" is going to take special consideration.

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I actually think Sunshine of Greenville had one of the most identifiable and distinguished storefronts on Main Street. It was clearly a women's clothier, and appeared to have decent quality products. Obviously there was not enough support for that particular product though. I hope whatever moves into these spaces plans to remain for the long term.

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I too have noticed more empty stores DT. I have wondered if the extensions along S.Main and Augusta has put some train on the stores onthe upper part of main (are we growing too fast?). However, I think a few national chains ARE going to be needed. Look at nearly every successful DT that is growing and vibrant, and thee are at least a few national chains. There needs to be some recognizable names, though it should be controlled, and in good taste. Also, as has been discussed, I think a DT movie theater would be excellent, and i still would like to see a family oriented bowling alley and pool hall. There are many spaces DT right now that are just waiting to be filled. Local niche shops are not going to be able to fil all of them and give the majority of people a reason to come there.

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I actually think Sunshine of Greenville had one of the most identifiable and distinguished storefronts on Main Street. It was clearly a women's clothier, and appeared to have decent quality products. Obviously there was not enough support for that particular product though. I hope whatever moves into these spaces plans to remain for the long term.

I seriously never noticed till it was mentioned on this board and I intentionally tried to look for it. As far as traffic goes it's had to see the signage their while driving east out of town. I practically had to look over my shoulder to see the sign and even then the font was too small for the sign as well as being cursive. Whoever moves into that spot needs to concentrate on the side of the building in addition to the front. A big honking sun on the side of the building certain would have captured not only my attention but my wife's attention who would have been a potential customer. If you look at places like Atlanta Bread Company, Sticky Fingers and Mast you will see they are not shy about using big letters. It's ok to have a fancy font and artwork but you've got to make it bold on the street if it's going to be noticed.

Whenever I see (or rather barely notice) signage that uses tiny fonts, or something that doesn't annouce itself it sends a not so subtle message to me that the business is not totally serious about bring in new customers. I see a lot of "artsy" storefronts but many seem to communicate the shop owners are starving artists and not serious business people.

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Greenville's Main Street, while nice to experience from inside a car, is not designed for drive-by shopping. It is designed for the full pedestrian shopping and dining experience, with access by car when necessary. More locals living around the city or county should visit downtown, park their cars, and walk around experiencing the attractions, the dining, and the shopping at leisure. If that means setting aside time they would normally spend fighting traffic on Woodruff Road to eat and/or shop, then an occasional break from that would be worth their time and effort. I actually know people who have family living in and around town who have no idea what downtown is like these days because they haven't been there on foot to see for themselves. :shok: Believe it or not, locals are still discovering what Greenville is all about. Hard to believe that so many from other places know more about downtown than much of the local population.

You can visit many great downtowns around the region and see a similar scenerio, where shopping and dinig options are geared toward pedestrians instead of drivers. I love this concept. People should be willing to get out of their cars and spend time walking and shopping instead of just driving everywhere.

Okay - that was not my best post, but I hope it conveys at least a little of my original thought. ^_^

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Who needs a sign when you've got a window display? :lol:

Something like that... :silly:

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There was a sign that said "For Lease" In the window of the Sunshine of Greenville. So I Called and the guy is looking to sub lease it out because there is still 28 months on the lease. Well, needless to say They are asking $3850 for that store and that includes utilities. !600sq ft and a basement for storage. You have to be a busy operation to be able to afford that type of rent. No small buisness owner will survive with rents like that unless they are a bar or rest.

If this trend continues you will see more and more franchised buisnesses downtown.

Why own a woman's clothing store in downtown and pay $3850 a month when you can go on the outskirts and pay $1300. Take another $1000 a month to advertise and your ahead of the game and your name is being advertised all over.

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Greenville's Main Street, while nice to experience from inside a car, is not designed for drive-by shopping. It is designed for the full pedestrian shopping and dining experience, with access by car when necessary. More locals living around the city or county should visit downtown, park their cars, and walk around experiencing the attractions, the dining, and the shopping at leisure. If that means setting aside time they would normally spend fighting traffic on Woodruff Road to eat and/or shop, then an occasional break from that would be worth their time and effort. I actually know people who have family living in and around town who have no idea what downtown is like these days because they haven't been there on foot to see for themselves. :shok: Believe it or not, locals are still discovering what Greenville is all about. Hard to believe that so many from other places know more about downtown than much of the local population.

You can visit many great downtowns around the region and see a similar scenerio, where shopping and dinig options are geared toward pedestrians instead of drivers. I love this concept. People should be willing to get out of their cars and spend time walking and shopping instead of just driving everywhere.

Okay - that was not my best post, but I hope it conveys at least a little of my original thought. ^_^

Thats a good point. With a place like Greenville it is very possible to not ever have to go downtown, and if you're an old timer you might be proud of that fact (which I'm sad to say used to be a badge of honor in America). Perhaps this mentality has not been killed off just yet... Although personally, I am not sure how you could live in Greenville and not want to go downtown all the time.

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An interesting article on Mast General. They are looking at opening in downtown Winston-Salem. The article notes how the Greenville and Knoxville stores have performed very well, and makes mention that cities all over the Southeast are approaching Mast, trying to lure them to their downtowns. Greenville should be proud that it was one of the first few and that it has been a definite success. I see Mast in the future gaining that Bass Pro kind of reputation, where cities start offering incentives for them to locate.....it's well on it's way.

http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellit...d=1149192133213

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The last retail space in Wachovia Place on Main is now leased. An Aveda salon, I believe the name is Ivy, has coming soon signs in the window.

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The last retail space in Wachovia Place on Main is now leased. An Aveda salon, I believe the name is Ivy, has coming soon signs in the window.

Nice! My wife is going to love that one...

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The last retail space in Wachovia Place on Main is now leased. An Aveda salon, I believe the name is Ivy, has coming soon signs in the window.

Good to hear. How are the spaces at the existing Bookend building going? I know a couple have been taken. Don't think they are retail though.

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Good to hear. I couldn't imagine it remaining vacant for too long. All new retail additions should help maintain downtown's "destination" status. :shades:

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Is there still the open space on Washington Street next to Sticky Fingers at Wachovia Place?

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