Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DSW shoe store, Modell's Sporting Goods coming to DCUSA?

Some possibilities for new retail at DCUSA: the folks at the Heights Life noticed job ads for DSW in Columbia Heights -- except there is no DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) in Columbia Heights, so maybe there's one coming. That led to the City Paper saying DCUSA is "shoe central." Here's DSW's website. Shoe fans, you excited about this?

And there's more: a commenter on the post about Lane Bryant closing said an employee told them that Modell's Sporting Goods will be opening in the soon-to-be vacant space. Probably not good news for Nash's Sporting Goods, a small business (they have 2 locations) in the Tivoli Building.

You could argue that if Nash's goes out of business, that's their problem, survival of the fittest, and I think Modell's is an ok store, but as usual I'm concerned about every suburban chain coming to Columbia Heights. I don't want to live in Germantown, I want to live in DC. Is it just me?

I plan to write more about the chain vs. local issue in a few days, including about the small business benefits they have at DCUSA, so stay tuned.


  1. I don't mind seeing chains in the city. Afterall, the tend to draw people out of the city to spend money in the suburbs. Modell's is a surprise, though, particularly when it will be next to the Sports Zone. Another surprise is that, with all of the commerce related to sports apparel, I don't see any stores that offer sports products that are commonly used by athletes in the area: yoga gear, specialty running gear, and biking, to name a few.

  2. Good point about the types of things they'll sell. I feel like City Sports or something like that would be a better fit. Maybe they'll tweak their inventory, we'll see.

  3. I believe Sports Zone is just shoes and apparel (more fashion than function at that). City Sports are small stores that cater to running, yoga, and tennis with some odds and ends thrown in. Modell's would offer all of what City Sports does plus a broad spectrum of other sports equipment and goods. I can't think of another store in the area which offers that so I'm all for Modell's.

  4. time to start driving people towards nash. head over and interview them. get the word out!

  5. I agree with you...I really wish the suburban chain stores would stop. It's not that I want to live in a place like Georgetown where everything is way out of my price range, but stores with a bit more character and individuality would be nice. Like you said, I live in DC rather than the burbs for a variety of reasons. This is just one of the many. But, I've also heard people mention that it's hard for those small places to afford the rent in DCUSA...

  6. Goph, I wrote about them awhile ago, but an interview isn't a bad idea

  7. My gripe about these two is that they bring nothing new to Columbia Heights. I can't really complain about a chain store that offers something I can't already get in the neighborhood. For example, Best Buy doesn't really have any electronics competition in the area (did it used to? Haven't been here long). There are a lot of things at Target I wouldn't know where to buy elsewhere.

    But DSW? Payless is right there. Isn't there a women's shoe store on Park (that may have moved by now, not sure)? Modell's? We already have Nash's. Z Burger? Five Guys.

    Maybe this kind of competition is a ultimately a good thing economically (I don't have any experience there), but the news is disheartening from a resident's perspective.

    Awesome new projects that the community seems to support (Elwood's, that coffee shop that woman wanted to start in DCUSA) lose traction, and instead we get these? It just leaves me confused.

  8. Payless and DSW are two very different shoe stores, and I must say that I'm psyched for a DSW since there isn't one currently in DC and their shoe selection is awesome. I guess I already resigned myself to Columbia Heights being Ballston when DCUSA was built. It wasn't built for small, independent businesses, and, indeed, it hasn't attracted a one.

  9. When DC USA opened, I said to my husband--it would be awesome to have a DSW here. Now that we're moving it's coming in! I agree that it would be nice to have some quality small businesses in there. I for one, had always dreamed of opening an organic pet store (mostly for demand, partly to piss off W Jordan --who abhors the dog park :-)

    But demand is obviously at play here and these stores are bringing affordable goods to the community. I know that sounds wrong, but it's true. Regarding Nash's--i'm convinced that's a front. The Post should investigate that place.


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