VOL. 113 | NO. 139 | Thursday, July 22, 1999
Starbucks to open Oak Court store Saturday
Starbucks opens in Oak Court
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
Despite the summer heat, Memphians have been flocking to the areas first Starbucks coffee emporium, which opened Saturday in the Oak Court Mall.
The new store is Starbucks Coffee Co.s first store in Memphis and in the state of Tennessee.
"This location has allowed us to bring the Starbucks experience to Memphis and to Tennessee while enhancing the shopping experience in Oak Court Mall," said Brookelyn Davis, Starbucks store manager. "It answers the numerous requests weve had for a Starbucks location in Memphis."
The new store, located on the first floor of the mall near the Orpheum kiosk and the food court, features seating both inside the store and outside in the center of the mall.
"Its been very popular," said Oak Court marketing director Kathy Davis. "They have café tables out in the mall, and I dont think Ive seen a vacant space since Saturday morning at 7:30."
In addition to its coffee and other beverages, the store carries the companys full line of specialty coffee beans, pastries and other merchandise, such as candy, coffee and espresso makers, and mugs.
While Starbucks coffee products are available in the Memphis area at the Memphis International Airport and at local Barnes & Noble bookstores, the Oak Court store will be the first company-owned Starbucks location in Memphis.
The company also started construction on Union Avenue earlier this month on its first freestanding store in the area. The company plans to open its first freestanding store in Tennessee in Nashville in August.
Starbucks is one of six new stores that have opened in the mall during 1999, a roster that includes Banana Republic, The Cutting Edge, Hat World, Motherhood Maternity, Su Casa and Brookstone, Davis said.
The 750,000-square-foot mall, owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Properties Inc., now has a total of 80 tenants.
"Thats a pretty good leasing year for us," she said. "We believe weve done a good job of filling in some important niches with our merchant mix."
Banana Republic is the malls largest newcomer, occupying 6,500 square feet on the second floor next to Goldsmiths.
"Banana Republic has been the biggest feather in our cap this year so far," Davis said. "Theyve done incredibly well here, and thats a significant amount of square footage for us."
Other newcomers include Hat World, an Indianapolis-based national company that carries professional sports team caps and accessories; Brookstone, which carries hobby and unique gift items similar to those offered by Sharper Image; and Motherhood Maternity, the malls first maternity store.
Two of the stores The Cutting Edge, which carries upscale cutlery, and Su Casa, which carries Mexican and Latin American housewares, are participants in the malls specialty leasing program, which allows retailers to come into the mall on a shorter-term basis than the average permanent tenant.
"This is tailored for new entrepreneurs just starting their business," she said. "It gives them a chance to define their product, make any needed changes, and determine if the partnership is something we both want on a longer term basis."
Several other stores, such as Godiva Chocolatier, have recently reopened after renovating.
Smith she expects three or four more stores, including a restaurant, to open in the mall by the end of the year.