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    LOUISVILLE (November 23, 2004) – The Louisville Store, a new retail and online source for buying authentic Louisville-themed products, was officially launched today by a partnership of four Louisville organizations. The announcement was held at The Louisville Store’s special storefront location at 4th Street Live! that will operate during the holidays.

    The founding partners – Louisville Metro Government, Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greater Louisville Inc., and the Downtown Development Corporation – joined forces to promote Louisville, according to Mayor Jerry Abramson.

    “The Louisville Store promotes our community by bringing together in one collection products that showcase and celebrate Louisville’s diversity and uniqueness,” Abramson said. “It is inspired by similar stores in Chicago, New York, and San Diego which give residents and visitors alike a way to buy items that celebrate their community.”

    The merchandise includes clothing, gifts and collectibles with Louisville Metro and downtown logos, posters and note cards with historic photos from the University of Louisville archives, and gift baskets of Metro-related products. Shoppers can buy unique items such as a personalized street sign or a surplus parking meter. The Louisville Store also features Louisville-related books, videos and DVDs, posters from local artist Julius Friedman, and products reflecting Louisville attractions.

    Proceeds from product sales will help fund programs that promote Louisville in a positive way to residents and visitors, the mayor said.

    Products from The Louisville Store collection are available at, and at Borders, A Taste of Kentucky, and The Paradies Shops at Louisville International Airport.

    In addition, from Nov. 26 through Dec. 31, The Louisville Store will operate from a holiday storefront at 416 S. Fourth St., in the 4th Street Live! entertainment complex. Louisville Store products will be featured at a holiday Visitors Center there, operated by the Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    Also during the holidays, The Louisville Store is offering free shipping for online orders of $50 or over. This free shipping offer is valid from November 23 through December 31 for orders placed online only.

    “We are delighted to work in partnership on the Louisville Store with Greater Louisville Inc., Metro Government and the Downtown Development Corporation,” said Jim Wood, President and CEO of the Greater Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Having these items available for sale is a wonderful asset for both our visitors and our community. People who fall in love with Louisville while here on a convention now have an easy way to purchase unique memorabilia.”

    “The Louisville Store offers an additional marketing outlet to businesses and organizations with Louisville-themed merchandise of quality and originality,” said Steve Higdon, GLI President. The four partner organizations will promote Louisville Store merchandise among their members and networks, Higdon said.

    Barry Alberts, Director of the Downtown Development Corporation, said each of The Louisville Store’s founding partners has distinct merchandise. “The Louisville Store has products unique to Metro Government, to GLI and the Convention Bureau, and to the downtown,” Alberts said. “And in the future, we will be looking for other Louisville-related products that can be sold exclusively through The Louisville Store.”

    The Louisville Store website will include a growing number of links to Louisville organizations and businesses that offer the unique local products featured on the website – and those organizations and businesses in turn will offer Louisville Store links on their websites.

    Rhonda Harshfield, Art Director at WAVE-TV, created the logo for The Louisville Store that was unveiled at today’s news conference. The Louisville Store selected her design from a dozen entries by artists responding to an invitation from the Advertising Federation of Louisville.

    The non-profit corporation, The Louisville Store, Inc., has contracted with Ben Isaacs to be its Managing Director. Isaacs’ experience in product development and marketing includes the Kentucky Derby Festival and Muhammad Ali Center.

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