KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Emery's 5&10 is preparing to move from South Knoxville to The Island in Pigeon Forge with hopes business will improve.
Owner Ron Emery said the decision took months to finalize, and wasn't an easy one to make.
Emery's 5&10 has been in Knoxville since 1927.
"But the opportunity at Pigeon Forge is so great, that I have to spend 100% of my time there," Emery explained.
The move was prompted by the new developers of The Island. Emery said they approached him and asked him about putting his store in the main square, and the offer they made him to put it there was too good to pass up.
"This is very, very exciting, and I think it'll help Emery's 5 and 10 survive for a long time, maybe another 87 years!" Emery said.
Emery said the decision came when he noticed how much foot traffic would walk past his front door at the new location. Last year, nearly three million people visited The Island, this year that number is expected to nearly double.
With so many people passing by, Emery called the move a blessing.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said the move is a sad day for Knoxville. He pushed a cash-mob for Emery due to the Henley Street Bridge closure shutting down so many businesses in South Knoxville. He said he figured this day would come.
"You can't cut down on that much traffic...with that amount of time, and just expect people to all of a sudden...you're going to turn the light switch on and folks are going to flood back. It just doesn't work that way," Burchett said.
Emery said the new location will offer more fun things that the current space, but wouldn't elaborate on what that meant.
"You'll just have to come stop by in June," he said with a smile.
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