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The State of Downtown Retail


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Healthy Lounge is further up North Main, near the North Street intersection. It is on the same side of the street as Mast General.

Roper's Jazz Caverns enjoyed a short few months worth of life before closing up. :rolleyes: I would like to see The Channel move somewhere downtown.

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Downtown is PACKED today. Definitely the most people I have seen there in months. Every restaurant looked full. Great to see.  Blaze Pizza sign now up and Brooks Brothers has reopened also. 

The unemployment benefits were enacted to help human well-being (you know, the ability to pay rent and buy food), and not to prop up the labor market. Complete apples and oranges. Most of the “da

https://upstatebusinessjournal.com/business-news/reids-fine-foods-taking-over-old-caviar-bananas-location/ https://gvltoday.6amcity.com/reids-fine-foods-greenville-sc/

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I saw the Healthy Lounge today. It looks good! I can't remember what was there before, but I like its new exterior. The building is a little plain looking right now, though the brick looks good. I'm sure once signage goes up on the building, it will look better.

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Has Augusta 20 closed their West End location?

I think they got out of mens and closed their "Sworn" side. Augusta 20 was suppose to remain. I heard someone had their eyes on the "Sworn" space and that a wall would go up in between.

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OK, Thanks. I do hope that the re-entry into Downtown CBD of a national chain retailer (Staples in this case) means that others will be more willing to enter the CBD as well. Specifically, that major bookseller, of course. There is an awful lot of "speculative" space in McBee Station, but that seems to be slowly filling in.

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Another downtown retailer is leaving. I heard this weekend that Venti will be closing its doors and moving to online sales only. I'm kind of surprised, since they were one of the few gift-type boutiques left on the north end of Main after Eden closed.

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Until I ate lunch at Sticky Fingers this past weekend, I didn't actually realize that any ground level space was still available in Wachovia Place. It's maybe 20 feet off of Main Street, but for those walking in the south direction there are no view obstructing objects. Visibility is not bad, and with a shingle sign it would easily be seen by anyone look east down Washington.

It also seems odd to me that it would still be sitting there, yet both Poinsett Corners AND the Bookends phase I are now filled. It only strikes me this way because they both sit over a block off of Main Street (one east and one west), and currently have either construction or a construction wall between them and Main Street (nothing that is helping to enhance pedestrian activity).

Does anyone know why it's still sitting there? If an adjacent tenant owns it, then they should cover it to hide the cold dark shell.

Another downtown retailer is leaving. I heard this weekend that Venti will be closing its doors and moving to online sales only. I'm kind of surprised, since they were one of the few gift-type boutiques left on the north end of Main after Eden closed.

That's terrible! I loved walking through there. Granted, I've never purchased anything there, so I haven't helped them. That seems to be almost as big of a blow as losing the Map Shop! :ph34r:

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I agree that losing Venti's storefront on Main Street will be a disappointment, however, I am very confident that something else with equal quality of presence will arrive to take its place. Just look at some of the recent positive transitions after longstanding shops closed up on Main Street... There seems to be a perpetual evolution taking place along the entire stretch of Greenville's Main Street. A couple of years ago I was very skeptical, but today I am much more enthusiastic about the changes and additions. In my opinion, the future of downtown is looking brighter than ever! :shades:

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Another downtown retailer is leaving. I heard this weekend that Venti will be closing its doors and moving to online sales only. I'm kind of surprised, since they were one of the few gift-type boutiques left on the north end of Main after Eden closed.

It is too bad, but I think it will become something else with no problem--especially in light of the entire block across the street being re-developed.

Ever noticed the carved rooster on the Venti building? Cool story behind that fowl when it was Uncle Sol's Pawn Shop. :whistling:

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That's terrible! I loved walking through there. Granted, I've never purchased anything there, so I haven't helped them. That seems to be almost as big of a blow as losing the Map Shop! :ph34r:

We've bought our share of $20 candles there. Our unique shops need our support. This store, much like the Uptown Downtown are a shame to lose. We have seen this happen first hand. If the evolution continues along this path, be prepared for a GAP, a Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic, Hallmark, and Cinnabon to replace our unique stores with Generic, mass produced, homogenized replacements.

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Another downtown retailer is leaving. I heard this weekend that Venti will be closing its doors and moving to online sales only. I'm kind of surprised, since they were one of the few gift-type boutiques left on the north end of Main after Eden closed.

My friend (and roommate this passed year) had just got a job at Venti for the summer, so I heard that they would be closing too. I think he told me the owner had a baby, so she obviously wants to spend time with him/her.

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How about a McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's to replace Soby's, O, and Devereux? That would be extra sweet!!

Let's not take it too far. Replacing Soby's with a Burger King is quite different than replacing Uptown Downtown with a Gap. While having locally-owned stores around is neat, I rarely find myself shopping there (more-so at clothing stores). I'd rather buy clothes at Gap than try to search through racks of strange things in Uptown Downtown, and there are plenty of people who are the same.

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Let's not take it too far. Replacing Soby's with a Burger King is quite different than replacing Uptown Downtown with a Gap. While having locally-owned stores around is neat, I rarely find myself shopping there (more-so at clothing stores). I'd rather buy clothes at Gap than try to search through racks of strange things in Uptown Downtown, and there are plenty of people who are the same.

Some folks just dont get it. When a downtown loses its identity, it no longer becomes a destination for anyone. If I can get it at the Anderson mall, why drive all the way to Greenville. Our local stores and shopkeepers deserve our support!

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We must also realize that if it's not a good store with a sound business plan, then it won't have a place anyway. I'm not saying that the Uptown Downtown, the Map Shop, or Venti don't have good management or are good stores, BUT there may just not be a market for it. It's not just about being unique, you must also offer something that people want in order to generate revenue and pay rent. If Gap could come downtown and be supported, then they have a place. The market will judge who comes and stays.

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Most of the stores that have closed their doors, were closing too early. How can a retail store close at 6:00 on a weekday when people work till 5-6:00. The restaurants do good downtown because the lunch picks them up with people that work downtown. Very few people that work downtown are not going to venti during their lunch break. But the people that go downtown on a weekday that go out for dinner and then walk around, they have no where to go because all the retail is closed for the night.

Even Mast closes at 6:00. They are busy enough to keep thriving but the smaller stores can not afford to do that.

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Another downtown retailer is leaving. I heard this weekend that Venti will be closing its doors and moving to online sales only. I'm kind of surprised, since they were one of the few gift-type boutiques left on the north end of Main after Eden closed.

I own Venti. We are going online only for a while. Ventiweb.com should be up and running by the end of the weekend if all goes as planned (I am running a bit behind due to the transition). I closed the store because I had a baby and I need to be able to spend time with him. It extremely difficult to run a retail store 7 days a week and be there for his needs as well. It was a difficult decision because of our customers and employees but it is something that I really feel is the right thing for my family.

I may reopen it in the future. I hope you all will still support Ventiweb.com (it is still a local business) and tell your friends too!

I don't post on this board, but I do read it occasionally. It is a great way to get insight into what is going on and more people should take a look at it. It is a valuable "business tool".

On a side note. There was a mention of retail not being open late enough downtown. At one time we stayed open until 9:00 pm M-Sat. We shortened it to 7:00 during the week and 8:00 on the weekends. Many of the retailers close because after a certain hour you get groups of people (especially on the weekends) and a lot more shoplifting and rowdiness because people are geared up for a night out. There are also packs of unsupervised kids/teenagers on warm weekend nights. The sales are a lot lower during the later hours so most stores have decided it is not worth the trouble. There is also a "dead period" between 6-7. It is a transition between daytime downtowners leaving and people who are coming downtown arriving for the evening. That seems to be why many of the retailers shut it down at 6:00. I think it is a shame, but from a business perspective I understand. Daytime until 6:00 and weekends are the peak sales hours.

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Kristen, thank you for sharing your story with us! Congratulations on the birth of your new child, and I sincerely wish you the best as you tackle this new path in your family's life. It is also vital that I mention how greatly I would love to see your shop reopen downtown someday in the not-so-distant future.

In other downtown retail news... Apparently the redevelopment of the old "green monster" in the West End is moving forward. Here is a brief excerpt from a current article in the GSA Business Journal:

...Mack's plan is to have street level retail, office space in the middle and condominiums on top. He says he is negotiating with national and regional retail chains and expects a signed lease within 60 days. "One retailer wants the first two floors," Mack says. "We've had a lot of interest in the office space also." The three condos have "already been spoken for," he adds...
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Most of the stores that have closed their doors, were closing too early. How can a retail store close at 6:00 on a weekday when people work till 5-6:00. The restaurants do good downtown because the lunch picks them up with people that work downtown. Very few people that work downtown are not going to venti during their lunch break. But the people that go downtown on a weekday that go out for dinner and then walk around, they have no where to go because all the retail is closed for the night.

Even Mast closes at 6:00. They are busy enough to keep thriving but the smaller stores can not afford to do that.

There (currently) isnt a strong reason for consumers to come back downtown after leaving work or to come downtown after getting home from work other than those that come for dinner or to hit the bars. That is why an "Anchor" retail destination is so critically important for downtown. Downtown needs that B&N, Borders, etc desperately. This will draw consumers back to the area to shop, and they will patronize other stores while here, including after 6pm.

Regarding business plans, I agree that if your plan is ill conceived, it is likely that you will fail. However, the city must try to subsidize or support local business to keep Greenville's local flavor. I doubt that any of the artists on artist's row in the west end have solid business plans, nor could they afford the rents that shopkeepers on Main St must have to pay. They city has realized how important they are to the city's future and have responded accordingly to support them. I do my best to spend some of my money on local shops as much as possible, even if its something small. I have no doubt that most fellow UPers here do likewise. I hope the City understands the Value of our Edens, Venti's, Uptown Downtown, etc. Has anyone SEEN how many empty store fronts and "for lease" signs that pepper downtown main street today? It is a symptom that must not be ignored.

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