Our event is not a protest. It is a shop local awareness action of localist passion- positive message. Not protest. I hope you contact me in the future when writing about my work.
Original post Nov. 10: Asheville residents opposed to chain stores opening up in downtown are planning a protest outside the new Anthropologie store on North Lexington Avenue, as well as the Urban Outfitters store on Nov. 21. The protest is being organized by Rebecca Hecht, the owner of Adorn Salon in downtown Asheville and an outspoken advocate of locally owned stores and an opponent of downtown chains.
The protest is planned to coincide with the opening of the new Anthropologie store, an opening that has reignited concern among some residents and business owners regarding the impact of downtown chains. The opening of an Urban Outfitters store five years ago on Haywood Street first fired concerns, and led to the organization of Asheville’s buy local movement called Asheville Grown.
Several new downtown hotels – all chains – are under construction and will be opening over the next couple of years. There’s also word that another chain retailer, Free People, is scouting a downtown Asheville location. Urban Outfitters owns both Anthropologie and Free People.
Here’s the note from Hecht:
We have heard that Anthropologie will be opening on the weekend of November 21. We are organizing an event to raise awareness surrounding the issues and threats small, local, independent businesses in Asheville are currently facing. Our goal is to raise awareness as well as educate the consumer on the street about the value of supporting local businesses.
Below is a link to sign up for volunteer shifts to stand in solidarity at the Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie locations downtown and engage the public.
We will be gathering for a volunteer headquarters and localist celebration at the Asheville Music Hall at 10:00 am on November 21. We will be sending our volunteers from there 2-4 people at a time as they check in for shifts. The event happens to co-incide with the Asheville Holiday Parade (11:00 am- 4:00 pm), and the location is along the route.
We will have a presence at Asheville Music Hall as well as the Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie through out the day. After the parade ends, we will have a “jazz funeral processional” style march around the block, passing by the chain locations. Our goal is to be good ambassadors of Asheville and small business. We want to keep our message clear, concise, friendly, and polite when we are addressing the public. We will keep all of our marching on the sidewalks to keep this a free-speech event, eliminating the need to make this a permitted event.
We will be having a couple of planning sessions between now and the event- we will keep you posted about the details. Please sign up for a shift here.
Please feel free to use the files provided to support the movement, and be clear about our message. Please don’t change them without permission, and if you sell anything, please make a donation to Asheville Grown Business Alliance, as they are involved with the movement.
We could still use help with printing t-shirts costs, and if someone wanted to donate some biscuits or other breakfast/brunch items to fee volunteers through out the day, that would be great. We could use some musicians to help with the processional.
Please stay tuned for more info in the next week.
Thank you again!