Holidays treat downtown Portland right

Pop-up shops' sales jump 53 percent, retailers report growth in sales

Jan 5, 2012
Downtown Portland, Ore. – This year’s holiday season was a jolly one for downtown retailers. Many retailers are reporting at least a 10 percent increase in sales over last year, and the über-popular pop-up shops rung up more than $225,000 in sales, a 53 percent increase over last year. Pedestrian counts also showed strong traffic boosted by this year’s Holidate parking program at SmartPark garages.
"Downtown retailers benefited from an increase in consumer confidence and a very well coordinated and executed marketing campaign that supported our unique mix of stores and experiences,” said William Palmer, chair of the Downtown Retail Council and manager of the downtown Brooks Brothers.
"In 2009, through the Downtown Retail Strategy, we set out to strengthen the long-term viability of Portland’s retail core,” said Mayor Adams. "This strategic approach has involved a number of critical partners, and I am proud to say that our hard work is paying off. We are seeing some very positive results for our downtown retailers, residents, workers and visitors.”
The Downtown Retail Council has reached out to many downtown retailers, surveying sales results; many retailers reported an at least 10 percent increase in sales. The pop-up shop program, which included four emerging retail businesses, sold $225,000 worth of merchandise including locally designed and produced clothing, accessories and art. Three of those businesses, Boys’ Fort, Portland Saturday Market Annex and Trillium Artisans, are currently exploring long-term leasing opportunities downtown.
Pedestrian traffic remained strong. The corner of Southwest Sixth Avenue and Morrison Street retained its rank as the most heavily trafficked corner in downtown. A full report can be seen here. The SmartPark garages also supported downtown retailers, offering free parking on Thursday evenings in December. Parking was up an average of 110 percent in those downtown garages compared to a typical Thursday evening.
More good things are coming to downtown in 2012. The Downtown Marketing Initiative is working on a winter arts promotion that offers two-for-one performance tickets, plus dining discounts; more retailers are expected to enter the market; and streetscape enhancements to Yamhill and Morrison streets will make downtown an even more inviting place to shop.

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The Downtown Marketing Initiative
The Downtown Marketing Initiative is a public-private partnership created and funded by the City of Portland and its partners that is dedicated to promoting the long-term vitality of downtown Portland. Since its inception in 2006, the Downtown Marketing Initiative has successfully supported downtown during a period of intense redevelopment and has become a critical economic stimulus tool in the current financial climate. For more information please visit
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Downtown Clean & Safe District
Downtown’s Clean & Safe District was created more than 20 years ago to support additional cleaning and security in the central city. The district, funded by downtown property owners, includes 213 blocks in the central city, and also supports market research and retail recruitment and retention efforts. The district is managed by the Portland Business Alliance under the direction of the district’s board of directors.
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The Portland Business Alliance
The Portland Business Alliance is Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce. With nearly 1,400 members, we strive to promote and foster an environment in the Portland region that attracts, supports and retains private sector jobs, spurs economic vitality and enables quality educational opportunities for the region's residents. Learn more at