New Urban Outfitters to Front a Bodega Storefront

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The Urban Outfitters set to open in August on the Upper West Side will boast a facade of four pretend storefronts reminiscent of their old (pre-chain) store.

Say it isn't so.  Nationwide trendy clothing store Urban Outfitters has designed its new store to resemble four different (read: independently owned) shops, including a hardware store, a hat store, a neighborhood bar and a bodega. The designer told the Wall Street Journal it was meant as an ironic gesture to the corporate homogenization of the city from the original layout of mom-and-pop stores lining the blocks.  That Urban Outfitters can only identify with the gentrified side makes it ironic, alright, but in a rather embarrassing way.  Will it look like one of those department store enchanted holiday villages? Or will Urban stock shrink-wrapped fig bars by the register and smell strange?

What's next, new police uniforms to make cops look like crackheads as they patrol the Bowery? We're not sure how this will turn out, but we can't imagine very well in this city, where cynics can sniff out an imposter 20 blocks down (or up, in this case).

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