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Downtown Westport Merchants Await Newest Retailer

WESTPORT, Conn. – Urban Outfitters , a Philadelphia-based clothing company for men and women, is opening its fourth Connecticut retail location, in downtown Westport, in March. But fans of the store aren't the only ones eagerly awaiting its opening — other downtown merchants are, too.

The trendy apparel chain, which signed a lease for the space at 101-107 Post Road E . last April, announced on Craigslist that it's hiring for a March opening . Westport resident and developer David Waldman, president of David Adam Realty — which owns the property — confirmed the news.

Jill Stern, manager of Agabhumi , located at 165 Post Road E., said she doesn't see Urban Outfitters as competition. In fact, she said she believes its presence will benefit all downtown merchants.

"I certainly think it will help boost the downtown economy," she said. "We need a store like that here. It's something different."

Of course, Stern said she's hoping Urban Outfitters will drive more customers to her store, which sells jewelry, belts, handbags and other handmade items from Bali.

Although Agabhumi is part of downtown, Stern said there isn't as much foot traffic along the Post Road as there is on Main Street. However, she said she’s hopeful the arrival of Urban Outfitters will draw more pedestrians, just as the opening of Mixology , a women's apparel chain at 151 Post Road E., did.

"Because we're above Main Street, we're off the beaten track. People don't walk around here — they drive," Stern said. "I think we'll complement them, and they'll complement us."

Kelly Stuart, manager of Michele's Pies at 180 Post Road E., said he, too, is confident the arrival of Urban Outfitters will be a boost. Like Stern, Stuart said there could be more foot traffic along that stretch.

"Any business moving into a vacant space downtown is good for Westport, but it's especially good for us when one opens down here on our end," he said. "It will definitely help bring more people downtown."

Waldman said the 11,600-square-foot store is expected to open March 10. The two-level store will have entrances on both the Post Road and on Church Lane.

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