The fact that there are three independent vacuum stores on Bardstown Road tells you a lot about shopping in Greater Louisville. The region has its share of large retailers and a lot of modern shopping malls, but buying local is also a priority for a lot of consumers. With a retail market like that, sometimes you end of with more choices than you expected.
“What we have, and what is good for the community, are vibrant, walkable areas,” explains Summer Auerbach, President of the Louisville Independent Business Alliance. “When you get these little stretches of road and land like a Bardstown Road, a Frankfort Avenue, NULU on East Market, or Westport Village, you also get these clusters of independent businesses. That’s when you get that feeling like, ‘Hey, I’m in Louisville.’”
“What we have, and what is good for the community, are vibrant, walkable areas,”
– Summer Auerbach, President of the Louisville Independent Business Alliance
Auerbach says the large center like the Mall in St. Matthews, Oxmoor Mall, Jefferson Mall, and the Paddock play an important part in the local economy. But she says independent businesses set themselves apart by emphasizing customer service and working with other small companies to give customers things they won’t find in larger stores. “LIBA tries to stay positive,” Auerbach says. “We don’t try to make people feel bad for shopping at Target or Wal-Mart. We try to emphasize the good things that come out of supporting local businesses. Until it’s brought to their attention some people don’t even think about it.”
Auerbach is also a fan of the City Center, a project focused on increasing retail, restaurant, and office space in downtown Louisville. LIBA’s motto is Keep Louisville Weird and they want all the help they can get. Greater Louisville’s mix of big and small stores is a win for local consumers.
Main Shopping Hubs for Louisville
Main Street, Fourth Street,
Market Street & Butchertown
Primary shopping attractions are between Fifth and Ninth Streets, including the gift shops at the Kentucky Science Center, the Louisville Slugger Museum, Glassworks, Flame Run, the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery and Fourth Street Live! On the first Friday of every month, more than two-dozen downtown galleries participate in the First Friday Gallery Hop. (See “Louisville’s Art Scene” for more or visit ldmd.org.)
Along East Market St., you’ll encounter a burgeoning variety of art galleries, restaurants and shops in the NULU District. Home to an eclectic mix of art galleries, shops, restaurants and antique stores, NuLu is often referred to as Louisville’s art district. It’s home to NuLu Fest in September, live music on Friday nights in July and “The Green Building,” the first commercial building in Kentucky to achieve LEED Platinum Certification. (Visit eastmarketdistrict.com/where-to-shop.)
Just a few blocks from Downtown in Louisville’s “Meat-Packing District,” you’ll find Butchertown, which is experiencing a revitalization of new shopping opportunities, including the Butchertown Market located on Story Avenue in a renovated early 1880’s building
With numerous coffee houses, art galleries, one-of-a-kind fine dining restaurants, small boutiques, antique stores and numerous other venues, Bardstown Road offers an urban shopping atmosphere in a neighborhood environment. Mark your calendar for Bardstown Road Aglow, normally held the first Saturday in December. Visit thehighlandsoflouisville.com.
The former stagecoach and streetcar route offers an eclectic mix of galleries, antiques, crafts, consignment shops and specialty clothing stores. On the last Friday of every month, the Frankfort Avenue Trolley (FAT) offers free transportation along Frankfort, Mellwood and Story Avenues during the FAT Friday Trolley Hop. (See “Louisville’s Art Scene” or visit fatfridayhop.org.)
Hursbourne Parkway offers approximately 3.5 miles of shopping centers from Stonybrook Drive to just north of Shelbyville Road. If you’re looking for a national or regional chain, you’ll likely find it here. North of Shelbyville Rd., the Hurstbourne Forum Center offers upscale clothing and gift shops.
In addition to Oxmoor and Mall St. Matthews, Shelbyville Road offers shopping venues along both sides of the road between Breckenridge Lane and I-264, including Shelbyville Road Plaza. Gourmet groceries, home design stores, gift shops, discount clothing, electronics and numerous other stores abound. On the east end, between Hurstbourne Parkway and Moser Road, small retail stores and restaurants in Middletown offer a variety of entertainment and shopping opportunities. From Shelbyville Road and Chenoweth Ln., across the tracks to the north and along Lexington Rd., you’ll find upscale boutiques, antique shops, jewelry stores, bakeries and cafes.
Additional Shopping Venues
As a complement to the city’s malls and large shopping centers, Louisville’s outlying areas offer quaint, historic shopping districts full of unique treasures.
951 E. Lewis & Clark Pkwy.
Home of Bass Pro Shops, Toys “R” Us, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Olde Tyme Pottery and a movie theater.
Springhurst Towne Center
3575 Springhurst Blvd.
The sprawling shopping center offers a number of large stores in the shadow of Tinseltown USA’s cinemas, including, Target, Meijer, Kohl’s, Books-a-Million, OfficeMax, Bath & Body Works, Dick’s Clothing & Sporting Goods, T.J. Maxx and more. Numerous fine dining and casual restaurants surround the center.
The Summit Louisville
4300 Summit Plaza Dr.
The open-air Mediterranean-style shopping center includes 60 upscale stores, including Talbots, J. Crew, White House/Black Market, The Gap, Barnes & Noble, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer and others. Numerous fine dining and casual restaurants are surrounded by the center.
Westport Rd. between Herr Ln. and Lyndon Ln.
315 Herr Ln.
Transformed from the old Camelot Shopping Center into an upscale outdoor shopping and dining destination, Westport Village is located off the newly expanded Westport Road in Lyndon and features a variety of home design, boutiques and art galleries. Locally owned restaurants, coffee shops, retail and specialty stores add to the neighborhood feel of the development.
Green Tree Mall
757 E. Lewis & Clark Pkwy.
Anchor stores: Sears, Dillard’s, JCPenney. Approximately 90 stores. Restaurants and eateries within and surrounding the mall. Greentree 10 Cinemas. Mall hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.
4801 Outer Loop
Anchor stores: Macy’s, Sears, JCPenney & Dillard’s. Approximately 95 stores. Food court. Mall hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.
Mall St. Matthews
5000 Shelbyville Rd.
More than 140 specialty retailers including Arhaus, Ann Taylor Loft, Brooks Brothers, J. Jill, Pottery Barn & Williams-Sonoma. Food court and restaurants, including The Cheesecake Factory. Mall hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.
7900 Shelbyville Rd.
Anchor stores: Macy’s, Sears, & Dick’s Clothing & Sporting Goods. Approximately 110 stores. Food court and restaurants, including California Pizza Kitchen. Mall hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.