Shopping options may keep retail dollars in Shreveport-Bossier - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Shopping options may keep retail dollars in Shreveport-Bossier

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So many retail announcements have hit the ArkLaTex in recent weeks. The announcements open up the discussion, what gaps exist in our retail market here in Shreveport-Bossier. After major clothing retailers like H&M and J.Crew announce store openings right here in Shreveport-Bossier, shoppers and city officials say this could change everything when it comes to shopping in our area.

"Everybody's different so if you have a variety of things to shoot for then everybody's happy so we won't have to go outside of the Arklatex to find places and things so I'm excited." said Yolonda Gales. Gales owns Benote Salon in Shreveport. Beauty is her business and she says a mix of stores will provide local shoppers with the opportunity to spend those dollars at home. "I don't have to travel anymore, I can stay right here in the city and shop and get everything I need right here."

And she's not alone in that thought. Mayor Cedric Glover says it's important to ensure the health of our local malls and shopping centers.  That's why city officials voted on a tax to help support Mall St Vincent's remodel, hoping it will lure in more retailers and bring in more money. Glover said, "Having witnessed in the 90's the demise of South Park mall and knowing that we did not want to see that same course for Mall St. Vincent."

You've heard the announcements from H&M, Forever 21, Torrid and J.Crew but it's not just clothing stores, high end grocers are coming to the area as well.  For example Whole Foods will be built along 70th Street in Shreveport. Joann Wheeless with Sealy Realty worked to bring Whole Foods in and says the grocer is just the beginning are other people who are going to come to that site just because Whole Foods is there."
Another project in the works is a shopping center complete with a state of the art YMCA facility at the intersection of Flournoy LlucaLucasEllerbe Road. It's expected to bring activity to an otherwise retail under served portion of Shreveport.
Mayor Glover says it's not just national chains the city is looking to support but opportunities exist for our home grown shops as well. "We want it to be a part of an overall mix of retail activity that includes a healthy, strong, thriving representation of our local folks as well because we believe that the locals can compete and offer us the kind of unique flavor that makes us a special place."

Mayor Glover said there are other opportunities in the grocer market in the area as well. "We have a great desire to try and say to the folks at CostCo Shreveport is a place that we believe you can be successful. That would add something to this market that we think is much needed." Wheeless says the combination of those national and local efforts will improve the quality of life for residents. "Five years from now the retail landscape of the City of Shreveport will be completely different."

Mayor Glover will be attending the Recon Convention in Las Vegas offered by the International Council of Shopping Centers to entice more retailers to see what Shreveport has to offer.

The convention starts on May 18th and ends on May 20th.
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