July 22, 2024
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State Street goes from books to bargains in a flurry of deals


With Black Friday approaching, Santa Barbara’s retail scene is trading its literary aspirations for bargain-priced fashion, signaling a possible new trend in State Street retail.

As detailed in a separate story this week, the city is losing both its Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores, and it looks like discount clothing stores Marshalls and H&M are moving in.

Santa Barbara has seen a 40 percent increase in the amount of retail deals on downtown State Street this year, said Radius Group Commercial Real Estate broker Brian Johnson. But fueling much of that leasing activity are lowered-priced clothing boutiques such as Heavenly Couture, which prices all clothes at $15 and signed a lease on a spot on the 900 block earlier this year; resale boutique The Closet, which moved its second-hand clothing store from upper State to downtown earlier this year; and Dear Diary, a clothing boutique on the 900 block with many items in the $25 range.

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