Downtown Memphis Commission works with our retail businesses to develop collaborative marketing and promotions to bring more people and awareness of available services. In addition, we offer incentives to help retailers relocate to the Downtown market.
South Main Historic Arts District
This eclectic area has an established and growing retail market that includes upscale boutiques, accessories, artists galleries, antiques, the Memphis Farmers Market, and independently-owned shops. More than 2.500 people live in this urban, trendy neighborhood in loft apartments and condos. The Memphis College of Art chose to relocated its Graduate School to South Main in 2010 across from one of nation’s most revered landmarks, The National Civil Rights Museum. The retailers enjoy collaborative marketing opportunities and events, including the RiverArtsFest and a well-attended monthly on-street festival, the South Main Trolley Night. Because of its inventory of historic buildings, South Main has also served as the backdrop for many high profile movies, including Walk The Line, Great Balls of Fire and The Client.
Main Street and Downtown Core
Returning to its roots as a center for independently owned retail shops, Main Street in Downtown’s Core has seen a resurgence of entrepreneurial retailers, restaurateurs and service providers. This retail section in the heart of Downtown is set in a traditional urban environment and enjoys the city’s highest density and pedestrian traffic. Retailers on Main Street Mall, a pedestrian mall closed to vehicular traffic, has more than 1 million trolley riders pass by their doors each year. An established cluster of retailers at Peabody Place are near Beale Street and the hotel district, thriving on the 4 million tourists that visit Downtown each year. Several major office complexes along Main Street employ tens of thousands of workers who frequent nearby shops on lunch breaks.