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South Moon Under continues national push with new Washington store

Annapolis-based fashion retailer South Moon Under is continuing its push to grow into a national brand with next month’s opening of the chain’s first Washington store.

The retailer, which got its start as an Ocean City surf shack 50 years ago, will open March 1 in a century-old building at 1065 Wisconsin Ave, N.W., in Georgetown. It will be South Moon Under’s 29th store.

The chain has expanded from a surf and swim store to an upscale women’s and men’s apparel chain with stores along the East Coast, offering brands such as Free People, ASTR, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Wildfox, Kendra Scott and others..

The company was founded in 1968 by Frank Gunion and sold in 2016 to husband-and-wife team Michael Smith, CEO, and Patricia Darrow Smith, chief creative officer, and to private equity group JPB Capital of Columbia. The Smiths co-founded White House Black Market in Baltimore before it was sold to Chico’s.

The new management expects to maintain the chain’s beach roots while growing into a national brand with additional stores planned for throughout the U.S. in coming years.

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