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West Elm Opens a New Store in the East Village

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The home furnishing and decor retailer West Elm opens Thursday at 10 a.m. and many of the local businesses are excited to have a national retail store in the East Village.

Just one week ago the store was empty and now it's completely full of everything you can think of to put in your home.

This addition to the East Village is really just one example of how it's grown over the past few years.

"So I think in the East Village there is a great energy happening right now. There's a ton of development and I think for us, we are a very community driven brand and so we want to be a part of that dialogue as the development happens. We are often a hub for workshops for local artists, designers and makers to kind of come, connect and meet one another," West Elm Spokesperson Andres Ortega said.

Ortega said West Elm has seven central Iowa designers and artists’ products available in the store right now and wants to promote a community atmosphere.

"I mean we really just want to work together with the local artists. We want to gain exposure for them and for their product. To kind of have that culture of cross branding, cross marketing with them. When their customers come here to see them, they'll discover us for the first time and vice versa," West Elm Store Manager Jonathan Campbell said.

Business owners in the area said they are excited to have the possibility of more clients coming from all over central Iowa to experience West Elm, but also the surrounding stores.

“West Elm made a progressive and calculated decision to locate their store in the East Village. They recognized the current vibrancy of the neighborhood and our projected growth as a very positive thing. They recognized that their target demographic is mostly likely already shopping in the neighborhood. Inherently, this new store will attract new shoppers to the neighborhood and those visitors will be delighted when they do. West Elm staff has done an excellent job of reaching out to local businesses and local makers for their 'Local Makers' section of their store,” Historic East Village Board President Chris LoRang said.

Josh Garrett, the owner of Jett and Monkey's Dog Shoppe said he’s been getting the catalogues for years and thinks this is a very unique addition to the area.

"It's going to bring people from throughout the metro to the East Village. It's another reason to come down here on a more frequent basis. And I think that's one of the great things about it. We are constantly evolving and that may include a national retailer and this is the first one," Garrett said.

The new store is located at 219 East Grand Avenue.

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