Clothing retailer Anthropologie opens its first store in Gainesville on Wednesday
Retailer Anthropologie brings high-end women’s fashion, stylish home decor and eclectic accessories to Gainesville.
The city’s first Anthropologie opened at Butler Town Center on Wednesday morning and joins a chain of more than 200 outlets worldwide. The store, located at 2850 SW 35th Drive, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
After months of preparation and construction delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, customers were welcomed into the new store with masks and pandemic safety measures in place. Soft chatter enlivened the 900 square foot space decorated with greenery, vibrant artwork and elaborate displays.
“Gainesville really has nothing like Anthropologie,” said Chelsea Ortiz, Anthropologie’s store brand manager. “You walk into the store and you really have an experience. Not just of the product, but of our displays, of the people who work for us.”
Ortiz said she was excited to introduce the brand to a new community of shoppers.
“A lot of people still don’t know what Anthropologie is, since there was none in Gainesville,” she said. “So now we can introduce the brand to [Gainesville customers]inspire her with the new product we have and really create lasting relationships and build a clientele that will last for years.
Ortiz said she believes this location will establish a greater connection between Anthropologie and its Gainesville market.
“Even if [a customer] has already shopped with us, here is his Anthropologie. She doesn’t have to drive to Orlando or Jacksonville,” Ortiz said.
Customers at Wednesday’s opening confirmed the shopping experience described by Ortiz.
Customer and Gainesville resident Kelli Bell said she usually buys from Anthropologie online or when she travels to major cities. She said she was excited to finally explore the location of her own city.
“I’ve been hoping for this day since I’ve been living here,” Bell said.
She also said she particularly loves Anthropologie’s eclectic homewares and accessories.
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“It’s honestly just a really fabulous shopping experience to walk into the store,” she said.
Anthropologie, owned by URBN Brands, was founded in 1992 by current URBN Chairman and President Dick Hayne, who named the store after his college degree. The brand caters to affluent and sophisticated women aged 30-45, although the team suggests the store has something for everyone.
Andrea Rodriguez-Saunp, the boutique’s client associate and freshman biomedical engineering student at UF, said she thinks the beauty of Anthropologie is in its range of styles, from modern to bohemian.
“I think [Anthropologie] will honestly attract anyone. No matter your style, you can come here and find at least one item of clothing, be it jeans, overalls or a nice shirt or dress,” she said.
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Valeriya Antonshchuk is a junior telecommunications news and political science student at the University of Florida. As a press assistant for the Avenue, Valeriya covers Gainesville cultural and entertainment news weekly. Valeriya was born in Ukraine and is fluent in Russian.