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EPE ousting last competitors

Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:06 pm

Elvis Presley Enterprises ousting last competitors near Graceland

Associated Press

MEMPHIS — Elvis Presley Enterprises is taking over the last two independent souvenir shops at Graceland but says it has no immediate plans to expand.

Graceland spokesman Todd Morgan said, however, that closing the independently owned shops gives EPE freedom to move quickly on new ideas for more company-owned stores, museums or the like.

The independent shops, Memories of Elvis and Loose Ends, are in a strip mall owned by EPE next door to Graceland Plaza, the company's main shopping complex.

Their leases won't be renewed when they expire in November, said Carol Light, owner of Memories of Elvis.

"It's a tragedy with the big people squeezing out the little man," Light said.

The company is just going about its business, Morgan said.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense to lease space to a competing business," he said.

For years after Presley's death in 1977 at Graceland, his Memphis residence, independent trinket hawkers controlled the Elvis souvenir trade.

In the early 1980s, Presley's estate lobbied the state legislature and went to court to gain the legal rights to his name and likeness.

The independent shops then were restricted to selling souvenirs licensed by the company.

Presley's last living heir, daughter Lisa Marie Presley, sold majority ownership of Elvis Presley Enterprise in February to CKX Inc., a company run by Robert F.X. Sillerman, the founder of music and sports promoter SFX Entertainment.

Lisa Marie Presley retained ownership of Graceland, with an agreement to continue allowing public tours of the white-columned house her father bought in 1957 for $102,500.

Sillerman's ownership group is expected to expand EPE's worldwide business, but no major projects have been announced.

When Presley's estate opened Graceland to the public in 1982, a small strip mall across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the home held a hodgepodge of shops selling the tackiest of trinkets, from American eagle toilet seats to small vials of "Elvis sweat."

Graceland eventually took over the shopping center and built Graceland Plaza in its place. In 1997, EPE bought the nearby strip center that became Graceland Crossing.

EPE contracts with more than 100 licensees to produce a wide range of Elvis and Graceland souvenirs, such as coffee cups, T-shirts, concert jackets and teddy bears in Presley costume.


http://tinyurl.com/czpxl

Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:41 pm

What they should be doing is cleaning the walls at gracelands...never mind shops across the road.


Just a view.

Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:25 pm

ever since Elvis started making records and personal appearances, 50 years ago,
a by-product of his fame and endeavors is a realm of greed and selfishness in those around him, who have a stake in him, who want to gain something by their association with him.

manager...producers...directors...entourage...corporations...

It never ends.

I got Elvis on RCA...

no, I got RCA to sign him...

I put Elvis on the Hayride...

No, it was me who did it....

I was Elvis' best friend...

No, I was...

we want to make and sell Elvis souvenirs....

NO! We are the only ones allowed to make and sell Elvis souvenirs.....



long ago his heartbeat ended...
but greed, power struggles and selfishness on his behalf never ends.

Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:55 pm

It's unfortunate for the shops concerned, but to quote Todd Morgan: "It doesn't make a lot of sense to lease space to a competing business". True enough. They own the space, so it was inevitable that there would come a time that they would want to make use of it. Hardly an example of out of control corporate greed.

Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:00 pm

TJ, there have been many examples of their corporate greed over the years. The most assinine was the keychain incident.

Tupelo Hardware Store was selling $2 keychains that read:
Where Elvis got his first guitar

- which is a factual statement

But look out! EPE threatened to sue if they didn't cease and desist.

Elvis® is a name owned by EPE only!

So, the store started making keychains that read:
Where Gladys bought her son his first guitar

- unless EPE has since trademarked the name Gladys® - which I wouldn't be surpised if they did! - then there shouldn't be a problem there anymore
:roll:
I'm surprised they allow the what-have-you generic elvis trinkets sold at gas stations near the Tennessee/Arkansas border.

Re: EPE ousting last competitors

Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:25 pm

Melanie wrote: When Presley's estate opened Graceland to the public in 1982, a small strip mall across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the home held a hodgepodge of shops selling the tackiest of trinkets, from American eagle toilet seats to small vials of "Elvis sweat."

Graceland eventually took over the shopping center and built Graceland Plaza in its place. In 1997, EPE bought the nearby strip center that became Graceland Crossing.


nice. EPE becomes your new landlord, raises rent I'm sure,
and re-stocks your store with new expensive tacky stuff they approve of,
cracks the whip on you as your boss, then in 2005, put you out of business.


a vial of Elvis sweat is tastesless and bogus, but so too are some of the items that has the EPE official endorsement.

my favorite is the $125 poster-sized image of some Elvis cancelled checks.
($175 if you want that poster already framed - not rolled-up in a tube)