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Marketing the Square

MemShop brings holiday market and business attention to Overton Square.

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Hot on the heels of its MemFix: Cleveland Street event, the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team is gearing up for MemShop: Overton Square, a holiday pop-up shop event in the long-dormant Midtown neighborhood that has recently begun perking up.

The event, which includes more than 40 local vendors and runs from December 6th through the 23rd, aims to bring traffic to the developing area of Overton Square and to entice long-term tenants to empty storefronts.

The Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team is charged with, among other things, generating economic vitality in core city neighborhoods, including South Memphis, Binghamton, and the Cleveland Street and Madison Avenue corridors.

MemShop is one of the three initiatives under Wharton's neighborhood economic vitality plan.

"It's a holiday pop-up market in the Overton Square area that is mutually beneficial to entrepreneurs and the landlords," said Kerri Campbell, communications lead and team manager for the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team. "It allows currently vacant storefronts to be temporarily occupied by entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurs get a chance to test-drive their businesses."

Throughout the three-week market, patrons will be able to purchase items from local artists and enjoy live music, creative classes and workshops, a pop-up yoga studio, a community café, and more.

The Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team has teamed up with Loeb Properties (the stewards of Overton Square's revival), the Indie Style Market (composed of local artists and artisans), Cosmic Coconut, Sache, and other retailers to bring this initiative to the square. Cosmic Coconut and Sache will fill two storefronts with a community café and clothing shop, respectively. The Indie Style Market will take over the large atrium where Palm Court was once located and set up a large one-stop shop for gifts by local artisans and vendors.

"This is a great marriage between our need for activity and life and people to be in the square while we're under construction and the businesses' need for testing out the Midtown market and Overton Square," says Anna Holtzclaw, Loeb Properties' promotional director for Overton Square. "Our idea is that people will come to Overton Square, eat at one of the existing restaurants, shop at MemShop, and take care of their holiday stuff all in one place. That's really what we want the future of Overton Square to be."

The market will be open on Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Campbell said this may be the first big MemShop event, but it won't be the last: The mayor is interested in bringing this type of economic boost to other key areas of Memphis as well. Attendees of MemFix: Cleveland Street (held earlier this month) may have noticed the MemShop initiative at work in empty storefronts along Cleveland.

"When you fill in those spaces, other potential tenants see the bustle of the market and see what a good location it is. That can attract long-term tenants," Campbell said.

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