Zara: Help Yourself, We Don’t Care

After our review of Pret, The Internationalist wandered into Zara on 1025 F Street to look at some items. But we noted how horrible the customer service was. The attitude of the staff we encounterd was “help yourself, because we don’t care.” Zara is/was the epitome of fast-fashion in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. With the exception of the men’s winter collection, their clothes have become a bit bohemian and far too tight to wear. It’s not the retailer we recognize and once respected. And with a disgraceful attitude displayed by the staff, we certainly won’t be giving our business to them.

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More Shops, Less Restaurants in Penn Quarter

Once upon a time, F Street leading into Penn Quarter used be a bustling corridor of shops. Unfortunately, that vision is a distant memory. While posing a threat to Georgetown with a wide variety of upscale restaurants and entertainment options, F Street is still failing to attract high-end retailers.

In 2003, the arrival of H&M was hailed as a major revival to the corridor. Zara, West Elm, and Madame Tussauds followed suit and occupied different parts of Woodies building. Guess opened a store at 1155 F Street. And this year, Forever 21 will replace West Elm which closed its doors for business.

The Internationalist envisions a major thoroughfare of retail activity on F Street leading into the heart of Penn Quarter. Think a la Regent Street in London or Canal Street in New York. An Apple store could have provided further regeneration of the area. After its store designs for Georgetown were being rejected, Terry Lynch, an architecht of Penn Quarter’s revival, sent a letter to Neil Albert, deputy mayor for economic development and urged him to “immediately engage Apple in other locations.” But the folks over at the Old Georgetown Board ultimately accepted Apple’s design on a fourth attempt.

Times are tough, but D.C’s economy is strong. And landlord’s in Penn Quarter will have to make an extra effort to attract more retailers and less restaurants. We already have enough of the latter.