Home The Latest A little boost for downtown retail

A little boost for downtown retail

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

By Jessica Hoch

Downtown Portland will try to inject the fun back into shopping this fall by joining a host of worldwide cities to indulge in a “Fashion’s Night Out” of events, fashion shows and parties to showcase downtown retail.

The event was created last fall in New York city in coordination with Vogue and others including the Council of Fashion Designers of America to lure back shoppers who have kept their plastic hidden since the recession hit.

FashionPortland will feature its own version of the fashion celebration on September 10 and it’s free and open to the public. Events will include a public fashion show in Director Park as well as an after-party in the Nines Hotel.  Free-standing stores such as Nordstrom, Macy’s and Banana Republic will host in-store events as will many Pioneer Place retailers including J. Crew, Kate Spade, and Betsey Johnson amongst others.  The in-store activities will start at 4:00 p.m and the after-party will go from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Portland will join cities such as New York and San Francisco as well as international fashion meccas in Italy, Britain and Spain that will each celebrate on a night between September 7 and September 16.  CBS will also feature a one-hour on the worldwide event special September 14.  Each of the cities was free to add in local flavor and personalize the event, so Portland added free pedicab rides from the fashion show to the retail stores.

After losing over 3,000 jobs in downtown Portland in 2008 and only gaining back 300 in 2009, retail, amongst other sectors, was hit hard in the recession, and cautious spenders aren’t expected to dole out cash this fall for back-to-school shopping either.  The hope with Fashion’s Night Out is to create more of the downtown vibe that was alive before the economy dove.

“It felt like last year people were on a spending diet, and so we wanted to create an event that made the public know that shopping is fun again and that even if you don’t spend money you can still go and enjoy the art and design for the entertainment value,” says Lisa Frisch, the downtown retail development manger for the Portland Business Alliance.  “Plus it helps puts Portland on the map as a fashion destination.”

Fashion’s Night Out in Portland is put on by the City of Portland, Downtown Marketing Initiative and the Portland Business Alliance.  The event is part of the Downtown Retail Strategy initiated by Mayor Sam Adams last year to clean up empty store-fronts along the downtown signature streets of Morrison and Yamhill.

Retail in Portland suffered a big blow with the Saks Fifth Avenue announcement in March that it would close its 60,000 square foot main store and men’s location in Pioneer Place.  In place of the men’s location will be the Swedish fashion clothier H&M to open this fall, a fast fashion store with inexpensive designs, and a growing international label.

Retail is crucial to Portland’s tourism industry, an industry which brought in an all time high $3.75 billion in 2008.  The industry dropped in 2009, but 2010 is stabilizing and the market is expected to rebound and experience slow positive growth through 2011, according to a report from the Heritage Consulting Group.  Downtown pedestrian counts were up in June compared to results over the last two years, a positive sign, yet it doesn’t signal that shoppers are ready to spend. Neither do the empty store fronts still scattered throughout downtown.

But the September event holds promise to bring some much needed vibrancy – and free is always a good price in a down economy.

Jessica Hoch is an online reporter for Oregon Business.

 

Comments   

 
Lisa
0 #1 Downtown Is DifficultLisa 2010-08-11 15:27:43
The concept is great and the welcoming approach is very appealing but have you driven downtown lately? The construction, the lack of parking, and the aggressive street people (along with those sleeping in doorways) make a trip downtown less that enjoyable.

I worked downtown for 10 years and back then,it was not nearly as great a logistical problem as it is now. And I am sure the answer is "Ride Max" but not everyone is going to make the effort for a fashion show. Make it easy, make it pleasant, and how 'bout doing something about the panhandlers and urban campers? You'll find many more people downtown if you make it more enjoyable
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
styleofaudrey
0 #2 FNO NYC 2010styleofaudrey 2010-08-13 13:48:34
I heard you can win a free trip to FNO in NYC at cbs.com/fno!
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Airbnb laws will hurt Portland’s newest company

News
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
airbnb-logoBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Proposed regulations protect Portland’s strict zoning codes and hotel operators, but they may have an adverse effect on Airbnb’s business.


Read more...

How to handle the unexpected

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 28, 2014
03.28.14 thumb disasterBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.


Read more...

Eking out a living

News
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.


Read more...

Downtime with Ron Green

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.


Read more...

Buy the book

News
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
2 03.25.14 thumb bookshopBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.


Read more...

Video: Kickstarting Oregon business

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
02.04.14 Thumbnail VideoBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.


Read more...

Small business sales go big

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.

BTNMarch14 tableBTNMarch14 line


BTNMarch14 piePDXBTNMarch14 pieUSA


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS