Retailer Anthropologie is bringing upscale women’s fashion, stylish home decor and eclectic accessories to Gainesville.
The city’s first Anthropologie opened at Butler Town Center Wednesday morning and joins a chain of over 200 retail locations worldwide. The store, located at 2850 SW 35th Drive, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from noon-6 p.m.
After months of preparation and construction delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, customers were welcomed into the new store, masks and pandemic safety measures in place. Soft chatter animated the 900-square-foot space decorated with greenery, vibrant art pieces and elaborate displays.
“Gainesville doesn’t really have anything similar to Anthropologie,” said Chelsea Ortiz, Anthropologie’s store brand leader. “You walk into the store, and you truly get an experience. Not just from the product, but from our displays, from the people we have working for us.”
Ortiz said she is excited to introduce the brand to a new community of shoppers.
“A lot of people still don’t know what Anthropologie is about, since there was not one in Gainesville,” she said. “So now we can introduce the brand to [Gainesville customers], inspire her with the new product that we have in and really just create lasting relationships and build clientele that’s going to last for years.”
Ortiz said she believes this location will build a greater connection between Anthropologie and its Gainesville market.
“Even if [a customer] has shopped with us before, this is her Anthropologie. She doesn’t have to drive to Orlando or Jacksonville,” Ortiz said.
Customers at Wednesday’s opening confirmed the shopping experience Ortiz described.
Shopper and Gainesville resident Kelli Bell said she usually shops at Anthropologie online or when traveling through larger cities. She said she was thrilled to finally explore her own city’s location.
“I’ve been hoping for this day since I’ve lived here,” Bell said.
She also said she especially loves Anthropologie’s home goods and eclectic accessories.
“It’s honestly just a really fabulous shopping experience to walk in 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 major. The brand is catered toward the affluent and sophisticated 30- to 45-year-old woman, though the team suggests the store has something for everyone.
Andrea Rodriguez-Saunp, a customer associate at the shop and a UF biomedical engineering freshman, said she believes the beauty of Anthropologie is its range of styles, from modern to bohemian.
“I think [Anthropologie] will attract honestly anybody. It doesn’t matter what your style is, you can come in here and find at least one piece of clothing, whether it’s a pair of jeans, whether it’s overalls or a nice shirt or dress,” she said.
Follow Valeriya Antonshchuk on Twitter @Vantonshchuk.
Valeriya Antonshchuk is a junior telecommunication-news and political science student at the University of Florida. As a news assistant for the Avenue, Valeriya covers Gainesville's entertainment and culture news weekly. Valeriya was originally born in Ukraine and speaks fluent Russian.