Anthropologie speeds toward projected Nov. 20 opening in downtown Asheville


Anthropologie, the popular national chain store featuring women’s clothing and accessories, is speeding toward a Nov. 20 projected opening of its new store on North Lexington Avenue next door to the Lexington Avenue Brewery. Constructions crews appear to be putting the final touches on the retail space.


The opening of Anthro in downtown Asheville will close a saga for the Urban Outfitters-owned brand that began two years ago in Asheville. Anthropologie reps participated in extended negotiations with the landlord of the S&W Cafeteria building along Patton Avenue, but those talks ended up falling apart.

Earlier this year, Anthropologie landed on Lexington Avenue, which is one of Asheville’s most unique avenues. It’s full of local, independently owned shops, restaurants and bars. It’s opening rekindled a debate about chain stores in downtown, a debate that began five years ago when Urban Outfitters opened at the corner of Haywood and College streets. That opening triggered the creation of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, the successful “buy local” movement here.

A subcommittee of a city advisory board is studying ways to limit chains locating in downtown following the Anthropologie news. Tuesday’s election of three newcomers to Asheville City Council has also been partially tied to discontent over the way the city is growing, as big hotels and national chains move in.


Jenny November 9, 2015 - 4:17 pm

There will most likely be more chains moving in but I doubt it will change the city as dramatically as some think they will. I buy from chains online and haven’t bought locally in a long time. Can’t find anything I like.
Don’t most locally owned clothing stores get their merchandise from elsewhere? Made in China, imported from India, Vietnam? That would be interesting to find out. Just because the store is locally owned doesn’t mean the goods are locally made.
All the recycled/re-used clothing are from chains originally. Re-using them makes it ok?

Matt November 9, 2015 - 8:55 pm

Spiritex has their fabric manufactured locally, and gets American grown organic cotton. I don’t know about other shops, but yes, some recycle and use available materials that were originally produced who knows where and how.

I would say that when those recycled outfits are purchased, that means fewer outfits are purchased from corporate shops with off shore manufacturing, and more money stays within our local economy.

Kerri November 8, 2015 - 5:55 pm

If we are going to get chain stores here, (which in my opinion, will eventually end our uniqueness – the reason people are drawn to A-ville) at least the city could look at the types of chains that come here. You know, chains that pay a living wage and don’t use sweatshops, etc… This chain is known for lots of wrongs.

Boobie November 9, 2015 - 3:09 pm

Chains that pay a living wage? Really? Go apply for a job at one of Lexington Ave’s quirky, unique shops and see what they pay along with their benefits. I can call a few out here if you like (having experience with them). Then compare that to what Anthropologie will pay, the number of people they will employ, as well as the great benefits. But, you blend that poor argument in with “sweatshops” and Rick Santorum support by their CEO….we get it…you hate chains. Unchain Asheville supporters simply won’t get my business.

NFB November 8, 2015 - 3:33 pm

“Tuesday’s election of three newcomers to Asheville City Council has also been partially tied to discontent over the way the city is growing, as big hotels and national chains move in.”

And, ironically, much of that discontent over growth in Asheville is voiced by people who moved here from elsewhere, thus fueling the growth they claim to dislike.

Big Al November 9, 2015 - 3:57 am

Too true AND too funny.

Timothy Burgin November 7, 2015 - 8:16 am

How long has the space they are moving into been vacant? Didn’t Urban Outfitters move into a space that was previously occupied by a much larger chain?

Matt November 8, 2015 - 8:59 pm

There was a CVS there. So, yes, that’s a big ugly mean ol’ corporate chain. But something about it is more tolerable than Urban Outfitters. Maybe because CVS isn’t trying to co-opt culture, where as Urban Outfitters and the like thrive on manufactured and branded identity.

Here’s an old mtn xpress article from 2009 written by some guy named Jason Sandford regarding the Urban Outfitters move-in.

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