To the dismay of students interviewed, British outerwear and lifestyle brand Barbour will join The Shops at Yale next month at 27 Broadway St.
Owned by Yale University, the property sits next to J. Crew and has been empty since Cutler’s Record and Tapes closed down in May 2012. Barbour will open alongside international retailers EmporiumDNA and Kiko Milano at 1 Broadway St., another University-owned property. Although Barbour representatives said the store will appeal to students and residents alike, many students said the store’s prices and highly specialized merchandise may not appeal to the student body.
“The Barbour lifestyle will resonate with both domestic and international tourists, students and local residents creating a unique shopping experience in the heart of New Haven,” said Caroline Regan of Cone Communications — the agency that handles Barbour’s communications and marketing — in an email.
Students interviewed raised concerns about the store’s price range and the diminishing availability of affordable retailers around campus. Of 16 students interviewed, none said that they plan to shop at Barbour, where jackets are priced between $200 and $500.
“I think it’s going to perpetuate the image of the ‘prep school Yalie,’ and it’s adding to the list of stores on Broadway that are only affordable to a very small percentage of Yale students,” Anna Russo ’17 said. “It will make income inequality at Yale more overt.”
Russo’s sentiment has been expressed by a number of students over the past few years as the University has acquired more properties on Broadway and Chapel and brought in high-end commercial retailers that many students cannot afford. After University Properties announced the two new international retailers to come to 1 Broadway, all 17 students interviewed in late July said they were not satisfied with Yale’s tenant mix. And of 40 students interviewed in February , only 18 had ever shopped at a business on a Yale-owned property.
Students interviewed said that instead of Barbour, they would like to see a more affordable clothing store come to Broadway.
George Vagnas, manager of nearby Yorkside Pizza and Restaurant, similarly said he thinks students are “not too crazy about the name [brands].” He added that kids “don’t want to spend a lot of money.”
While students said they do not intend to shop at Barbour, Adam Juarez, manager at Gourmet Heaven at 15 Broadway, said he doubts the stores even appeal to other New Haven residents.
“They complain, ‘Why is this street so expensive’?” he said of locals who come to Broadway.
Vice President and Director of New Haven Affairs at Yale and Director of University Properties Lauren Zucker could not be reached for comment over the weekend, but according to Regan, Barbour was selected as a tenant because of its history.
“Yale and Barbour both represent a long history and heritage that are rich with values and tradition,” she said.
The announcement of Barbour’s upcoming opening comes amid a number of other openings and closings on Broadway. Over the summer, both A-1 Pizza and Educated Burgher shut down unexpectedly, as did clothing store Jack Wills. A few weeks later, the University announced that Gourmet Heaven will close in June 2015.
Barbour’s New Haven location will be the brand’s first standalone store in Connecticut.
Contact CAROLINE HART at email@example.com .