Asheville residents opposed to chain stores opening up in downtown are planning a protest outside the new Anthropologie store on North Lexington Avenue, as well as the Urban Outfitters store on Nov. 21. The protest is being organized by Rebecca Hecht, the owner of Adorn Salon in downtown Asheville and an outspoken advocate of locally owned stores and an opponent of downtown chains.
The protest is planned to coincide with the opening of the new Anthropologie store, an opening that has reignited concern among some residents and business owners regarding the impact of downtown chains. The opening of an Urban Outfitters store five years ago on Haywood Street first fired concerns, and led to the organization of Asheville’s buy local movement called Asheville Grown.
Several new downtown hotels – all chains – are under construction and will be opening over the next couple of years. There’s also word that another chain retailer, Free People, is scouting a downtown Asheville location. Urban Outfitters owns both Anthropologie and Free People.