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A Village Store Owner Speaks; American Eagle Lands on Houston

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WEST VILLAGE—Over in the comments section of our post about the closing of venerable Bleecker Street shop Aphrodisia Herbs, a fellow shopkeeper tells a similar story: "When Marc Jacobs started his domination of Bleecker St, I managed to hold on to my shop for a few years until it had changed so much that I no longer had the same traffic or clientele. The clientele also had different expectations—no longer seeking the West Village for a funky, unique retail experience but instead the latest designer fix." Then the rent quadrupled. "I'm thankful I closed before the recession hit, but truthfully I had wished we would be a unique retail holdout rather than just another designer outpost. Note to Racked: the city lost three shop cats when I closed as well." [Racked Comments]

SOHO—Inspired by the success of their monster new Times Square store, American Eagle has decided to bolster their downtown presence as well. The teen-friendly chain will be moving from Broadway and Prince to a 20,000-square-foot space at 599 Broadway on the corner of Houston Street, across from Hollister. [NYP]