The increasingly suburban mall-like Fulton Mall will wear its hometown pride on its sleeve after the leading retailer of t-shirts that say “Brooklyn” opens near the corner of Boerum Place.
Brooklyn Industries has literally staked its flags — featuring its recognizable water tower logo — in front of a closed HSBC bank branch and will open on or around July 23, a brand spokeswoman said.
The retailer, known for its graphic t-shirts, hoodies, and minimalist backpacks, boasts seven other shops in Brooklyn and outposts in far-flung locations such as Portland, Chicago, and SoHo — but it’s a small, hometown business compared to other new Fulton Mall arrivals such as Aeropostale, the Gap, and Starbucks, which opened across the street several weeks ago.
Shoppers are curious about the Brooklyn-centric store’s new location, which was first reported by Brownstoner.com.
“I mostly shop in the small boutiques, but I will check it out,” said Fulton Mall consumer Simba Yangala. “Maybe I can find something there that would be good for a gift.”
The pending Brooklyn Industries is only the latest new clothier slated to set up shop Downtown. The trendy chain H&M and the discount department store Century 21 are both planning to open in the neighborhood.
But not everyone is happy with the changes on the Fulton Mall, which for decades was a bustling retail strip catering primarily to African-American shoppers before a new wave of costlier chains opened for business.
Lucas Shapiro, a senior organizer with Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, says the street will soon be out of reach to the shoppers who frequented it for years.
“Some of the cheerleaders of the new development talk about it as a renaissance, but the Fulton Mall was a successful commercial corridor before all those changes,” Shapiro said. “Now the stores are targeting a different price point than matches the people who live here.”