Anthropologie--the big retailer with modern urban style clothing and home goods--has opened its doors in Montclair in time for the holiday shopping season. I'm sure there is some grumbling as people roll their eyes at $200 corduroy pants and worry that chain stores will threaten the character of our very indie town. Me, I welcome Anthroplogie here. I think ultimately we need a few William Sonomas and Gaps to anchor the smaller retail offerings of our town and keep it vibrant and walkable. Unlike mom and pop shops, the big chain stores have national funding to stay open seven days a week and later in to the evening. Anthropologie is open late--until 9 pm at night--my own preferred shopping time.
There's a positive ripple effect. With longer store hours people walk in the streets until later, and they're more likely to go get some dinner or a coffee on Church Street after they've browsed (or shopped in the store). Anthropologie gives outsiders another reason to bypass the mall and come visit Montclair, and maybe pop into Semplice or the Montclair Book Center.
What's interesting is that more and more big retail stores want to be located in a walkable downtown like ours. For the first time in forty years, the trend is shifting away from malls. People want to shop locally. They don't want to get on a highway to buy a pair of jeans or that perfect gift.
This holiday season you'll find me at the sale rack sometime around 8:30 pm. Anthropologie is located at the corner of Church Street and Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair.