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February 24th, 2010Florence not fleeing reputation for retail

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by Mark Hansel

Florence – Florence has embraced its identity as a regional shopping destination even as some other communities have moved away from retail as an economic focal point.

With more than 4 million square feet of retail space – 2 million on the aptly named Mall Road alone – Florence remains one of the few areas to which customers throughout Northern Kentucky still flock.

“If we got to go back and pick and choose what we wanted our identity to be, I don’t know that we would have specifically chosen retail, but the development of Florence Mall pretty much opened the door,” Florence Mayor Diane Whalen says. “I think that what we’ve found, long before me, is that the retailers and the marketing people determined that this was a good place. We never had to go out searching because everybody came to us.”

When Florence Mall opened in 1976, it was one of several thriving malls in the region, all of which generated significant traffic. As the popularity of other regional retail destinations began to wane, several factors, including geography and careful planning, have allowed Florence to buck the trend.

The city is strategically located just off Interstates 71/75 and near the Interstate 275 loop.

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