JJs Hallmark is making way for womens apparel giant Anthropologie after more than 13 years of serving customers on King Street.
Owner John Jones chose not to renew his lease after a regional real estate company bought the property and raised rent. Now shopping for a new location for the card and gift franchise, hes concerned the new tenant might not fit in on King Street.
Small businesses are critical to Old Town, he said. I just dont want Alexandria to become an extension of local malls.
Jones fears cookie cutter chains will leave little opportunity for privately owned businesses to thrive, stripping Old Town of its charm.
Stephanie Landrum of Alexandria Economic Development Partnership dismissed his concerns, saying the responses they received from local businesses and residents about Anthropologies move to the city were overwhelmingly positive.
Anthropologie, owned by Urban Outfitters, Inc., sells high-end womens clothing, accessories, home goods and gifts. A company spokeswoman said the store markets to young, working-class women.
Anthropologie is expected to open in the fall.