Mayor Greg Fischer's office has announced six new retailers for the South Fourth Street corridor in downtown Louisville -- citing a study that says downtown has thus far reached only 52 percent of its retail sales potential.The announcement Thursday was touted as a successful public-private partnership between the city, business owners and the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation, which commissioned a market study that showed "you can double your retail potential downtown if its done right," said Alan DeLisle, executive director of LDDC. “So then we asked the question, how do we do it right. And then we did a merchandising plan that talked about making sure that a cluster of retailers occurred.”The stores that are part of this first cluster that will be between the Seelbach and Brown hotels are: Art Eatables – a small-batch bourbon truffle shop. Block Party Handmade Boutique – a collaborative retail, studio, and workshop for artists. Celebrations – a custom invitation and gift shop. The Leading Man – a men’s clothing and accessories shop. Les Filles Louisville – an artisan jewelry and accessories shop. Regalo – a gift, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and accessories shop.Art Eatables has already opened. Les Filles Louisville, Regalo and the Leading Man already have locations in Louisville, and the Leading Man has long been planned.The idea, which has struggled to develop until recently, is to get this section of the downtown corridor back to the bustling retail area it once was decades ago, officials say.“Too often we say, we’ll you need to go here, and you need to go here, without really saying we don’t have enough offering downtown. We’ll that’s about to change," said Fischer.Metro Government is investing $500,000 from its general fund to upgrade sidewalks and lighting on the two block stretch, which will happen between January and the end of March. All businesses in the group are expected to be up and running before the Kentucky Derby in May.DeLisle said the LDDC is speaking with six more businesses and he told WFPL he's confident another group will be announced for downtown next year.
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