[April 2017] Free People makes its Westport debut

By: Emma Rojas ’18 and Bri Zelberg ’19

Free People, a Bohemian style clothing store owned by Urban Outfitters, will open their new 6,000 sq ft location, in the former Patio.com building, at 645 Post Road East later this month. The women’s clothing store has over 100 stores nationwide, including three in Connecticut: Greenwich, Danbury and Farmington.
The opening has many Staples students excited as Free People offers a variety of clothing items and a different style compared to other women’s stores in town. Their website says they cater to a junior image, and their creative and individualistic designs allow them to cater to their great quality and affordable products.
Avery Smith ’19, a Free People customer, is excited for the new location. “Now that it’s local I’m sure I’ll have more of their clothing in my closet,” she said. “Going to Greenwich or other places was a hassle, so this is great!”
Many students have previously purchased Free People products using their website, which offers a greater variety of clothes than their stores. The opening now makes Westport the most convenient location to shop, and there is no need to wait days for your item in the mail.
Free People is expected to thrive due to the lack of stores with an indie-like style in Westport. “In comparison to stores like Brandy Melville and LF, Free People provides this type of clothing,” Smith said. “I’m sure it will do very well, but it is very unlikely it will put other stores out of business.”
Stores like Lesters and Winged Monkey have carried the Free People brand for years. Rachel Seidman ’17 thinks that the store “will create more attraction for Lesters and other stores in that shopping center” so other shops may actually benefit from the opening.
The one caveat for Staples students are the high price points, which definitely catch many customers off guard. “I am excited but the clothes are way too expensive for me to shop there often,” Maddie Jones ’17 said. “I really like the clothing Free People sells, but they’re usually exorbitantly priced, which will steer a lot of young people away.”
Despite the steep price points, the company does offer a relatively large sale section in all their stores, and their ‘under 100’ tab on the website is able to accommodate the average girl’s needs without breaking the bank.