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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Pitaya boasts “”shoppable”” atmosphere”

    Pitaya boasts shoppable atmosphere

    Stainless steel hangers sit delicately in line as public health junior Liz Smith runs her fingers over a ruby-red dress in search for that perfect outfit.

    “”I need something to wear tonight,”” said Smith. “”It’s my 21st birthday.””

    Pitaya is a nationwide women’s clothing chain with a boutique located in the heart of Main Gate Square at 943 E. University Blvd.

    The store is brightly lit, and it is easy to find what you are looking for, according to student shoppers like Smith.

    Pitaya’s owner and president Michael Mazor said he has depended on word of mouth to bring shoppers in the doors of his women’s clothing boutique.

    “”Business has been better than I thought it would be,”” said Mazor. “”I have already seen repeat shoppers who are bringing in their friends.””

    Pitaya, named after a prickly fruit found in Guatemala, opened Aug. 12 and prides itself on its

    I see American Apparel and other new retailers bringing in shoppers outside of the college community. I see Pitaya staying a Tucson for a long time.

    -Michael Mazon
    owner and president of Pitaya

    fresh and clutter-free appearance. Mazor describes his store as affordable and “”shoppable.””

    In a storefront a little bigger than 1,200 square feet, Pitaya carries women’s clothing at affordable prices. Denim jeans start at $48, jewelry at $8 and basic T-shirts come in dozens of colors for $12.

    Unlike many big-name retailers, such as the Gap and Urban Outfitters, Pitaya changes its items weekly instead of seasonally, therefore keeping styles unique and up-to-date. Pitaya also sells clothing online at www.pitayaonline.com.

    According to Mazor, the majority of business does not come from online but from his Midwest stores.

    Mazor opened his first Pitaya store over 10 years ago in Bloomington, Ind. He picked Tucson’s Main Gate area as Pitaya’s ninth location because of its “”cool factor”” and growing metropolitan feel, he said.

    University Boulevard is sporting seven new storefronts that opened over the summer, including Lids, Hollywood Tans and Ed Hardy.

    According to the Marshall Foundation, a charitable organization with major UA holdings, more retailers are planning to open this fall, including the Los Angeles-based fashion retailer American Apparel. The chain is opening a 3,500-square-foot store across from Pitaya in mid-October.

    The growing number of retailers on University Boulevard doesn’t scare Mazor, who is confident that Pitaya is here to stay.

    “”I see American Apparel and other new retailers bringing in shoppers outside of the college community,”” Mazor said.

    “”I see Pitaya staying in Tucson for a long time.””

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