Crime’s Impact On Attracting New Businesses To Memphis

(Memphis) One day after the shooting inside Oak Court Mall, police and security officers can be seen in and around the parking area.

But it’s been a violent few months at some of the city’s premier malls that now have a tarnished image.

Ann Cameron is a Memphis shopper. She says she feels safe, but she’s quite aware of the crime problem in the city.

“There’s a lot of publicity. That’s on the news all the time about it,” Cameron said.

In January, robbers rushed into Reeds Jewelers in Wolfchase Galleria and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Rolex watches.

About a week later, Kay Jewelers in Oak Court Mall was robbed by a gunman who grabbed several items and ran.

Lucy Alexander shops in Memphis and she said she’s concerned about crime, “If I didn’t live here I wouldn’t move here because of the crime. That’s right.”

Could that be why some high-end stores aren’t in Memphis?

The city does have several high-end stores, but some city leaders speculate that a combination of crime and economics are the reason why some businesses are not coming to Memphis.

Jim Strickland is Memphis City Council Chairman, “I think to attract business and people we have to make Memphis more safe.”

Strickland says even though the city’s crime rates have dropped, it’s still not enough to keep some companies and people from moving out.

“I want to focus on all businesses, the high-end stores and low-end stores and people, populations. Both populations and businesses are moving out of Memphis. We need to reverse that and drastically reduce crime,” Strickland said.

Crime in Memphis, some say it will have to be reduced if the city wants more companies to move to here and for Memphians to feel safe.

“I just wish, I wish we could get a handle on it. You know,” Alexander said.

WREG reached out to several companies such as Neiman Marcus and others to find out specifically why they haven’t located in Memphis. So far, our calls and emails haven’t been returned.