Organizers hope first Main Street Market brings new revenue streams into downtown Lufkin

Organizers hope first Main Street Market brings new revenue streams into downtown Lufkin

As big-box store retailers around the country continue to struggle, Lufkin businesses are hoping to cash in on the changing trends.

Downtown businesses that normally compete for business are now banding together to bring in more shoppers.

"We want people to think shop local first. Whether you are looking for a dress or for a gift, we want people to remember we have fantastic merchants in downtown Lufkin," said Lufkin Visitor and Conventions Bureau Director Tara Watson-Watkins. "We think this new event will be great for us."

The LVCB and Main Street Lufkin are starting their new campaign called Main Street Market Days. The event will take place on the second Saturday of each month with downtown merchants joining food trucks, outside vendors, and live musical acts. The event will close down the down town streets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"It really brings new people down here that have lived here all their lives but don't know downtown Lufkin is growing back to what it used to be," said Rubie & Jane's owner, Caitlyn Kirkland.

Kirkland said she is excited to bring more possible shoppers to her specialty bridal and formal store.

Many stores focus on females in downtown, but Phillip Mortensen is hoping their husbands will stop by Texas Coin for more of a male theme.

"It will be a very unique situation here where business owners can display their wares and have vendors on display," Mortensen said.

One of the biggest hurdles for the downtown businesses is getting the word about their shops.

"There are so many people that don't realize you can shop downtown, and you can also eat," said Tammy Ellison, the owner of Soul Blessed.

However, they say once they get the business in, it's not hard to keep it.

"They realize their dollars affect that, and they understand they need to protect that," Kirkland said.

Mortensen said even if someone does not buy anything there is a bond that is formed.

"We get to interact with the people and have conversation," Mortensen said.

Ellison said she tries to capitalize on the same business plan.

"The thing that we do that we offer so much more customer service," Ellison said. "We spend time with you. We help you. We remember you."

They are hoping that business model will work with more people coming in this weekend.

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