Portland retailers see 10% growth

Pop-up shops’ sales jump 53 percent, retailers report growth in sales
By Portland Business Alliance

This year’s holiday season was a jolly one for downtown retailers. Many retailers are reporting at least a 10 percent increase in sales over last year, and the über-popular pop-up shops rung up more than $225,000 in sales, a 53 percent increase over last year. Pedestrian counts also showed strong traffic boosted by this year’s Holidate parking program at SmartPark garages.

“Downtown retailers benefited from an increase in consumer confidence and a very well coordinated and executed marketing campaign that supported our unique mix of stores and experiences,” said William Palmer, chair of the Downtown Retail Council and manager of the downtown Brooks Brothers.

“In 2009, through the Downtown Retail Strategy, we set out to strengthen the long-term viability of Portland’s retail core,” said Mayor Adams. “This strategic approach has involved a number of critical partners, and I am proud to say that our hard work is paying off. We are seeing some very positive results for our downtown retailers, residents, workers and visitors.”

The Downtown Retail Council has reached out to many downtown retailers, surveying sales results; many retailers reported an at least 10 percent increase in sales. The pop-up shop program, which included four emerging retail businesses, sold $225,000 worth of merchandise including locally designed and produced clothing, accessories and art. Three of those businesses, Boys’ Fort, Portland Saturday Market Annex and Trillium Artisans, are currently exploring long-term leasing opportunities downtown.

Pedestrian traffic remained strong. The corner of Southwest Sixth Avenue and Morrison Street retained its rank as the most heavily trafficked corner in downtown. A full report can be seen here. The SmartPark garages also supported downtown retailers, offering free parking on Thursday evenings in December. Parking was up an average of 110 percent in those downtown garages compared to a typical Thursday evening.

More good things are coming to downtown in 2012. The Downtown Marketing Initiative is working on a winter arts promotion that offers two-for-one performance tickets, plus dining discounts; more retailers are expected to enter the market; and streetscape enhancements to Yamhill and Morrison streets will make downtown an even more inviting place to shop.

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