Urban Outfitters prepares for grand opening Thursday

By: Lorena Estrada Email
By: Lorena Estrada Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The music is on and the latest fashion trends are on display. Urban Outfitters is ready to bring a whole new crowd to Market Square.

"We have a great team here, staffed with people from Knoxville," said Distric Manager Justin Van Laeken. "They're ready to go. They've been through 3 weeks of training."

The major chain brings a major addition to the hub for small shops.

"I think this area of Knoxville is beautiful. It's so easy to walk around and shop, and we're excited to add to that," Van Laeken said.

Shoppers are excited for new options on the square.

"I know there have been a lot of places vacant, so it's nice to see some places come in," Margaret McDaniel said.

And businesses don't seem to be worried. In fact, many said they are looking forward to a boost in customers.

"When a lot of people go to shop, they're going to want to eat out after. And we're located in the perfect spot for that," said Kelsey Leyrer with Cafe 4.

"I think it's a great thing for the business on Market Square to have another entity move in. I think it's going to bring a lot of younger people down here," said Krista Cox, a design consultant at the Bliss Home store.

Shoppers and businesses aren't the only ones benefiting from the grand opening of Urban Outfitters though. The store is helping kids continue to practice their passion for music.

Ten percent of the proceeds made on the first three days will go to The Joy of Music School.

"We provide free music lessons for kids who can't afford them, but that costs money. We provide instruments, music and supplies that the kids need, so any support like this is terrific," said Executive Director Francis Graffeo. "For a big national chain to recognize us like this means the world to us."

It's a larger incentive for store employees knowing their job is making a difference in more ways than one.

Urban Outfitters opens its doors Thursday at 10 a.m.


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