Sephora Eyes Brooklyn, Sparks Retail Debate

On the heels of the introduction of Barneys Co-op to the borough, The Real Deal is reporting that Sephora is pondering a location at the Fulton Street Mall in downtown Brooklyn, which naturally is raising red flags among the neighborhood's Manhattan-commercialization refugees.

We certainly get it; Manhattan has tipped toward Disney-fication with its gradual phase-out of independent mom-and-pop shops in favor of big-box national chains and megastores, causing an exodus over the bridge where local businesses are still thriving on their diversity. Brooklyn's charm will certainly be diluted (if not altogether lost) should its local mix be compromised. But let's remember that we're talking about the Fulton Street Mall.

For those unfamiliar with the Fulton Street Mall, it's a pretty gritty stretch of stores that counts among its ranks—and this doesn't include the numerous surrounding counterfeit suitcase and cell-phone-cover vendors on Flatbush—Cookie's (kids' bargain chain), Foot Locker, FootAction USA, Lane Bryant, Macy's, Radio Shack, Kay Jewelers and Payless, to name a few, while Arby's, Burger King, KFC, McDonalds and Wendy's make up the mall's "dining" establishments.. 

In other words, it's not exactly a quaint haven of independently owned nooks and crannies. And last time we checked, there weren't any major cosmetic purveyors nearby. Would the arrival of Sephora—especially if there's a market for it—really be so bad?

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