Over 30 people gathered on York Street yesterday for the official opening of fashion retail store Wish List, the latest addition to the Broadway Shopping District.
Owned by Carla Sorbel and Suzanne Zarrilli, Wish List joined the portfolio of University Properties that includes other women-run businesses such as Claire’s Corner Copia, Koffee Too? and Sogno Boutique. While the Wish List chain, which currently has stores in Westport and Greenwich, offers young women’s fashion to its customers, the New Haven store will also include a new men’s fashion “boyfriend section,” Sorbel said.
Zarrilli said she and her business partner chose to invest in New Haven because it is a college town with a growing economy.
“We wanted to go further north because many people who travel to Westport are from here,” she said. “We really think New Haven will happen.”
City and University officials said they welcome the latest addition to York Street.
New Haven Chamber of Commerce President Tony Rescigno said he thinks Wish List will help existing businesses in the Broadway District.
“It is exactly the kind of retail we want in the city,” he said. “It encourages people to walk around and shop in different places as well.”
Bruce Alexander, Yale’s vice president for New Haven and state affairs, said University Properties tries to build a collection of stores that appeal to the Yale community while also attracting a wider clientele in and around New Haven.
“Yale students are gone five months each year, so for these stores to survive, we need to create a magnet,” he said. “This is a unique addition to Broadway merchants, and we’re glad to have them.”
Tracy Houle, who manages Wish List in New Haven, said she is not concerned by the fluctuating campus population during the year because some of the clientele who frequent other Wish List locations live in and around New Haven.
The owners of Wish List and other merchants in the Broadway District do not think the newcomer will overlap with the existing clothing stores.
Zarrilli said she thinks Wish List offers a compromise between preppy and urban styles.
“We see ourselves not as preppy as J. Crew and as urban as Urban Outfitters,” she said. “We see ourselves going down the middle ground.”
Steven Plewa, director of the J. Crew store on Broadway, said he was excited by the new retailer and does not see Wish List as competition.
“I think we appeal to two different styles,” he said. “Hopefully it will bring pedestrians into Broadway.”
Students and pedestrians also said they are excited about the latest addition to Broadway commerce.
Nina Solah ’08 said she likes the clothing Wish List offers, but that the store is quite expensive.
“If you have the money, it’s a great place to shop,” she said.
Sue Gruen, a Hamden resident, said she and her daughter were both happy to see a Wish List open in their local area.
“I have a daughter who shops in the Wish List at Westport and is very happy to have one nearby,” she said.
Following locations in Westport, Greenwich and New Haven, Zarrilli said a fourth Wish List store will open in Darien on Nov. 18.