It has been nearly a year since Urban Outfitters opened up in Armory Square and it's still being met with enthusiasm. Rumor has it where Urban Outfitters goes other chains follow. Whether that is true or not, chains are welcome to add to the "mixed bag of goods" of Armory Square.
On Aug. 19, 2010 Urban Outfitters made a new home for itself at 223 Walton St. When it first opened many of the existing retailers were looking forward to the increased traffic downtown and into their stores said Tony Ortega, president of the Armory Square Association.
The Sound Garden manager, Ron Cicoria, supported Urban Outfittes "100 percent" and knows first-hand the effect the store has had on the area: The Sound Garden had its best year in 2010. On the weekends many of the customers walking into his store carryUrban Outfitters bags. Although he said you can't attribute his store's sales to just one thing, he's sure having Urban Outfitters downtown has helped.
Cicoria is also an Urban Outfitters customer, but of course he still supports small businesses.
"I love small business, I'm in small business, but I'm also into making Armory Square a flourishing neighborhood," Cicoria said.
In order for people to come downtown and want to shop, a market has to be created. Joel Shapiro, owner of Jet Black, Mr. Shop, Frankie & Faye and Bounce, thinks Armory Square has done that. He calls it a "mini Soho."
When you look around Armory Square there is a very large market, he said.
"When you're in the retail business, the bigger the market the better the place and every store will benefit from it," Shapiro said. "If that wasn't true you'd have to shut down every store in the mall."
Having Urban Outfitters downtown is exciting for some retailers and people who work to keep Armory Square thriving, but not all chains are wanted.