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  • AC

    They are moving 14th Street into a chain-only corridor. Sad.

    • So, should we expect protests at the prospect of Trader Joe’s moving in. After all the’re a chain, owned by Aldi of all companies. How infra dig.

      And …. They inspire(d) people to move past the frumpy 80s transitional design of their childhoods ….. I wish that I was a chld of the 80s. Now I feel really old.

  • Really? Who is “they”? That is a ridiculous comment. So Lux closing is a comment on the entire development of the mid city corridor?

    First of all, my personal impression is that this establishment was probably not an ideal business model. They had a limited inventory, of a limited scope in a very competetive market. An attractive space and friendly atmoshpere were just not enough to overcome the obstacles. Did anyone ever see anyone actually shopping there? My first thought when that store opened, was that it was a lovely idea and simultaneously a bad business idea. They had a significant amount of square footage on a major commercial corridor with probably little foot traffic for their particular product line. Maybe expanding their design concept to a wider range of inventory or broader service model would have helped.

    Regarding chains, I think the couple we have are good neighbors, and probably spurred development of the corridor rather than hurt. There have been plenty of locally owned, neighborhood friendly establishments that have thrived. And yes some of course that have not. I could argue to almost a point that the ones who closed were probably not marketable or were badly managed regardless of competition from “national chains”

    I am a neighborhood resident of over 25 years, and the word sad is definitely not the way I would describe the improved commercial climate in the mid city corridor. I will refrain from listing examples, but a stroll along 14th between U and Rhode Island reveals a litany of local businesses interspersed with only a couple national retail chains. The vibrancy of this corridor is actually the subject of local AND national media attention and the envy of other regional neighborhoods.

    • AP


    • Hmmm

      Chains aren’t good neighbours, largely as a result of the sharply reduced proportion of gross sales the recirculates in the local economy.

      Further, I’d hope we were trying to get businesses to open in/shift to the area that not only serve current residents, but create a dynamic culture. Yes, our streets could be lined with Jennifer Convertibles and E-Z-Boy outlets, and all their products would be very accessible.

      And we’d have all the cultural density of Woodbridge.

      These curated furniture stores that we have/had on 14th are/were as much art gallery as furniture retail. They inspire(d) people to move past the frumpy 80s transitional design of their childhoods that they unthinkingly repeated towards an aesthetic they had chosen, and reflected their identity and personality.

      Sometimes cheaper isn’t better.

      • @Hmmm

        I’m not certain I even completely understand your point. But on one thing I inherently disagree. Specifically regarding the current state of retail in the mid city corridor, I think the national retail chains, of which there are ONLY two, are fine neighbors. Room & Board and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams are both good companies, they seem to do a good business, they resurrected historic buildings nicely, and their products are primarily sourced in the USA. I honesty do not see how anyone could describe them as a bad influence. (and by the way, Mitchell Gold maintains a residence on 14th Street.)

        I don’t think anyone wants to see this area become saturated with any particular or specific type retail to the point it becomes bland, but I for one am happy with the mix we have so far, and only hope to see more of the same. In addition to the above, I count no less than 8 home/design retail stores between U and Rhode Island that are all locally owned and have a distinctive individual identity. All of which appear to appeal to mostly a neighborhood clientele and none of which seem to me to detract from the appeal of the street.

        HOME RULE
        SHOWROOM 1412

        Compared to the state of the neighborhood just 5 years ago, this to me is nice to see. Yes, we could use even more, and particularly more affordable options, but does that mean what we have is inherently bad? If anything, it would seem to be restaurants that might be reaching a saturation point, but that is definitely a topic for a different thread.

  • DC20009

    I agree that the improvement of 14th Street in the last few years has been tremendous. I think what Lux closing represents is the end of trying to make 14th into another Cady’s Alley or Chevy Chase . I have nothing against chains, and I don’t think ultra-luxury stores are the appropriate fit in this area. For my purposes, I suppose it’s nice that the high-end stores prompted the renovation of our older buildings, but they are just spaces that I won’t ever need to enter. Chain or not, we need more mid-range retailers.

    • Well put. It’s always perplexed me how 14th Street south of U Street went from being an area of vacant storefronts, used-car dealerships, etc. to being full of expensive boutique-y stores. Mid-priced retailers would be a good addition, especially if certain categories of boutique-y stores can’t succeed in the area.

      • Hmmm

        What on earth does “boutique-y” mean? There’s a fascinating statement about class perceptions lurking between the lines of the above comments.

        • Anonymous

          Class realities, stop pretending everyone is a rich design junky. DC and especially 14th street is too young and transient for many of these esoteric furniture shops.

        • Pretentious Much?

          What boutique-y means to me:
          “…curated furniture stores that … are/were as much art gallery as furniture retail. They inspire(d) people to move past the frumpy 80s transitional design of their childhoods that they unthinkingly repeated towards an aesthetic they had chosen, and reflected their identity and personality…”

          At least the “class perceptions” expressed there are not “lurking between the lines”.

          I am not all about chains or about high-end (for instance, I love Miss Pixie’s) but ‘curated furniture stores’ are ludicrous. But I will give you credit – you have elegantly expressed precisely what I do not want to see more of on 14th Street. Thanks for that.


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