Knoxville (WVLT) - It's East versus West in the battle for your dollar, and shoppers say West Knoxville could ring victorious. Turkey Creek has bustled with activity since it opened. And now, J.C. Penny could joining the store list...the development continues to go strong.
The Nixon's Deli cash register rings steady in Fountain City...just not as much as it used to.
"It hurts when people have to leave the community to shop because they eat where they shop," Bill Brooks says.
And owner Bill Brooks says North Knoxville shoppers have skipped town.
"We have no complaints on a daily basis," Brooks continues.
But he says on holidays sales suffer big.
"There's nothing to draw people or keep them in the community now," Brooks says.
Just across the streets sits an empty Target...other strip malls have popped up....and Broadway's packed with traffic. But...
"It's become a drive through community from Halls to the interstate," Brooks says.
Shoppers say the selection out East isn't great either.
"We definitely need a lot more stores," Brittany Brantley says.
A Knoxville Center spokesperson boasts strong sales at the east-side mall. Brooks grew up there and the two-story mall...
"It doesn't even represent what I remember," Brooks says.
Where are shopping goings? To the new frontier. Out West. Here at Turkey Creek.
Among the 300 acres...and more than 100 stores Gerry Meisner tallies his totals...
"Turkey Creek is really where all the retail seems to be," Gerry Meisner says.
He started selling chocolate...sometimes in form high heels... five months ago, and the sales are sweet.
"For a store like ours that really relies on heavy drops ins it was an ideal location," Meisner continues.
Not to mention the more than 20 restaurants send him....
"People coming in for dessert on he weekdays, on the weekends they come in here after dinner," Meisner says.
And for shoppers that ability's key.
"We just go where we can get as much done before the couple hours before bedtime," Dori Miller says.
Brooks stays in North Knoxville because...
"Roots, I guess. Just roots," he says.
And that will keep him here.
Brooks says he plans to expand his delis to West Knoxville. One of those will be at Turkey Creek...the other on Middlebrook Pike. A spokesperson for the Knoxville Center says the mall still has the stores to draw big business, and it continues to perform well.