GERMANTOWN, Tenn. -- April Wilkinson clasped her hands together as if in prayer, and pleaded with the executives who run Nordstrom to open a store in Shelby County.
“They have higher end stuff, brands we can't get in this area. I have to travel to Atlanta, Nashville, and sometimes the West Coast,” Wilkinson said.
She’s ecstatic at the news Nordstrom is building more than 200 of their Rack outlet stores, and are looking at Germantown's Saddle Creek and Collierville's Carriage Crossing as possible new homes, although they’re not promising anything just yet.
They're not the only ones with their eyes on the suburb.
“There's not a day that does not go by that someone does not ask me if cheesecake factory is coming," Germantown mayor Mike Palazzolo said.
He couldn’t confirm it, but name dropped Cheesecake Factory and Trader Joe’s while talking about 20 new projects headed to town.
“The phones ringing a lot in Germantown,” Palazzolo said.
Mix in IKEA and H&M, and it appears the area known for simply shipping stuff is actually getting stuff.
“The world is discovering Memphis,” Reid Dulberger, president of the Memphis and Shelby County Economic Growth Engine, said.
He added stores are playing follow the leader.
“They say, 'I never thought of looking to Memphis. I need to, what do they know that I don't know,'" he said.
It also means more jobs, but Shelby County's mayor said we have to take steps to really be ready.
“We're going to have to work on workforce development. We know that's our Achilles heel right now, but we have some bold initiatives taking place right now,” Mayor Mark Luttrell said.