VOL. 118 | NO. 178 | Monday, October 4, 2004
Merchant Guide Adds to Downtown Advertising
Efforts Increase to Market Downtown
New merchant guide highlights Downtown businesses
The Daily News
Center City Commission reported recently in a Downtown Market Study that some
25,000 people live Downtown Memphis and another 68,000 work in the area.
tourists and many of the Memphians who spend a significant amount of time
Downtown often arent aware of all the businesses and other offerings in the
area. They might know where certain restaurants are located, but small retailers
such as jewelers and florists and services such as a dentists office arent necessarily
something Tim Goodroe hopes to change.
Accessible information. Goodroe
has launched The Downtown District Merchant Guide of Memphis, a quarterly publication
containing business ads and information on the Downtown market. The first edition,
which is free and available in several Downtown businesses and vendor boxes, was
released in mid-August.
about helping the pedestrian traffic have something thats immediately
available, immediately accessible to them as a reference to whats Downtown, Goodroe said.
As a Memphis
city police officer who serves Downtown, Goodroe knows
a good deal about the types of information commonly requested by Downtown
would get my coffee at Empire Coffee Co. on Main Street, and while standing
outside drinking my coffee, Id have people walk up to me who were obviously
tourists, he said. Theyd ask me where to get good bacon and eggs, and I would
tell them. I kept getting the same questions over and over.
thought that, obviously, something is missing here. It just became clear to me
that what Downtown needed was something readily accessible.
Downtown roadmap. The guide focuses on three
groups of Downtown patrons: residents, visitors and tourists. It contains more
than ads it offers a dining guide, map, trolley information, ATM locations,
businesses that offer Internet access and the location of museums.
a good roadmap to things you need Downtown, said Richard Alley, owner of
Tobacco Bowl at 152 Madison Ave., one of the advertisers on a two-page spread focusing on Madison businesses. Tourists will pick it up,
business travelers will pick it up, residents will pick it up and people who
are working Downtown will pick it up. It covers everybody, and its solely
Lack of awareness. Kelli
Dumas, a Downtown dentist who advertises in the guide, said its amazing how
little Downtown residents and workers know about some of the services available
happen to go to the Jewelry Market, and a lot of patients that I talk to dont
know there is a jewelry store Downtown, she said.
are actually a handful of Downtown jewelry stores, and that lack of awareness
is one of the primary problems many Downtown businesses face.
knows there are restaurants. Everybody knows there are bars, the Grizzlies and the
Redbirds, and thats all great, Alley said. But if we can get people to come
down here and spend a Saturday shopping, that would be fantastic.
Advertising efforts. Several steps have been taken by
various groups to make that happen. The South Main Association has placed
brochures in area hotels advertising the South Main Arts Districts many art
galleries, shops and points of interest.
the Center City Commission has several initiatives under way, including an advertising
campaign that should kick off in coming months. The agencys Blue Suede Brigade
also distributes a booklet to visitors that includes a map listing the many
points of interest in Downtown.
Existing resource. Business owners expressed the need
for some sort of Downtown business guide. And though some might not know it,
one does exist.
Downtown Directory published by Downtown Productions Inc., also the publisher
of Memphis Downtowner magazine serves as a
telephone directory for Downtown businesses.
publisher Jodie Vance started the company 15 years ago, she wanted to get the
word out about companies many Memphians didnt know existed.
that time, and they still do, businesses closed before people even realized
they were here, she said. I wanted to put the residents and workers of
Downtown in touch with what businesses and services we have.
it might seem that Goodroes publication is a
competitor for the Downtown Directory, he stressed the importance of both
guides within the Downtown market.
dont want to do a directory over again, Goodroe
said. Its done too well. The whole point of this magazine is to allow small
businesses to advertise and not break the bank doing so.
Attracting all Memphians. About 3,000 guides have
been mailed to Downtown residents. The publication also is available in Kroger
stores throughout East Memphis, an effort aimed at bringing more people
Downtown from the suburbs.
have done a lot of different advertising venues in the past two years, and I
have had the fastest turnaround with two individual publications. This was one
of them, Dumas said. I didnt even know it was out, and I had a patient
probably within three days and she said she saw it in the Downtown Merchant
next issue comes out Dec. 1. Goodroe hopes to grow
the publication by adding businesses and sections, including focuses on
specific neighborhoods, such as Harbor Town, South Main and the Pinch District,