HALIFAX - Despite rumours and lots of social media buzz surrounding a recent report that Urban Outfitters is set to open a store in downtown Halifax this spring, neither the landlord or clothing chain have confirmed it’s going ahead.
On Tuesday, many people Tweeted their excitement after a local media outlet reported the major U.S. retailer would be opening shop on Barrington Street in the old Sam the Record Man space owned by Starfish Properties.
However, Paul MacKinnon of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission said fans of the store shouldn’t be planning a shopping list just yet.
“I haven’t heard either way,” MacKinnon said Tuesday afternoon.
Urban Outfitters began in 1972 in Philadelphia, Penn., under the name Free People. Their clothing has been described as bohemian and retro, and they also sell home décor.
According to their website, there are 14 Urban Outfitters stores in Canada with the most eastern in Quebec City.
MacKinnon said there have been rumours on the street for a long time about who might take over the building, and the Urban Outfitters theory seems popular.
“We’re anticipating that there’s going to be exciting tenants in there but we haven’t heard from Starfish,” MacKinnon said.
Starfish Properties and Urban Outfitters did not return requests for comment on Tuesday.
Some discussion online surrounded whether or not a national chain would be a good option for Barrington Street, with some saying a bigger store would hurt the independent shops.
But MacKinnon said a vibrant street needs a balance of both, and any new store would benefit a downtown area that has mostly bars and restaurants.
He also pointed to Spring Garden Road’s success after Lulu Lemon moved into the area, and it’s “always a good sign” when a national store want to set up downtown.
“More retail would be great,” MacKinnon said. “If we have a number of clothing shops it makes the trip downtown more worthwhile for someone.”