Nearing Arrival of Urban Outfitters Causes Hype

Rachel Labarre, A&E Editor

Not only will the new Urban Outfitters have an entrance on Post Road East, Westport, Conn., but also on Church Hill. Building is underway and the store will open on March 15, 2012.

Students are counting down the days until March 8, the much anticipated opening of Urban Outfitters on Post Road East, Westport, Conn. About one year ago, Feb. 15, a large group of workers began putting the building together, under the direction of David Waldman Realty. Since then, high school students haven’t stopped buzzing with eagerness for the clothing store to open.

“I’m so excited for Urban to open – I’ve been waiting forever. It’s going to be so convenient,” said Taylor Jacobs ’14.

However, the arrival of the store has presented a problem for numerous high school students who looked forward to having a way to earn some cash. Many Staples students including Callie Alghrim ’13 and Halli Sigel ’12 went on the website and filled out an online application to become an employee for Urban Outfitters.

“I had applied online and they never mentioned anything about having to be 18. There was only a box on it that was like check this off if you are 18,” said Sigel. The application did not ask for age or birthday, nor did it mention a minimum age for hiring.

After submitting the online application, Sigel showed up at the interview that was scheduled for her, but was told that they would not need her services, even though she turns 18 this summer, because she is currently 17 years old.

Alghrim was offered to attend a job fair that took place on Feb. 2 and and was told to bring a new application which specified that applicants needed to be older than 18. The offer to attend the job fair was withdrawn once Alghrim revealed that she was younger than 18.

“You would think they would want more high school kids because it’s a local business but I guess not,” Sigel said. For most high school students, the 18 year old age minimum will be a barrier and cost Urban Outfitters many potential applicants. Although this is a disappointment to students, the community still thinks that the store will thrive downtown, and will bring additional business to other stores.

“I think it will be an excellent location for them and will be a very successful store.  Although currently off Main Street, it is adjacent to Patagonia, across from Restoration and Tiffany’s and once the YMCA is developed, it will be on the best street in town,” said David Waldman.

Other stores downtown are excited for the opening, as well. “It will bring more young kids to the area,” said Rebecca Smith, an employee at Benefit, a makeup store on Main Street.

Employees at a similar clothing store, LF, say that although every new store provokes competition, they are not afraid because each store has it’s own type of style.

“Downtown Westport is a very unique place and is only getting better,” said Waldman.