GREENWICH - In the midst of this recession, the opening of a new store is bringing a sense of hope to Greenwich Avenue.

Mary Ann Morrison, the president of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, says she is ecstatic about the new Madewell clothing store. The women's retailer is the sister company of J. Crew.

Madewell is the latest business on the strip, joining recently opened Bang and Olufsen. Morrison says all the new movement is bringing much optimism to the shopping district.

In addition, Out of the Box women's clothing store recently expanded from its second-floor space to a storefront. The owner, Jill DuPont, says it took her a while to find a suitable location because rents can go as high as $500,000 a year.

"The space needed a fair amount of work and money and time, but we opened," DuPont says. "I'm really excited to be on street level."

DuPont says she and other merchants along Greenwich Avenue will be holding several events in the coming months to attract more customers and boost sales.