Tuesday, July 17, 2012

J.Crew Store Location Series {Washington, D.C.}

*Image above is from Paperless Post, found through NYC Recessonista's post

A big "thanks!" to GigiOfCa {of the delightful Gigi's Gone Shopping blog} who came up with a brilliant suggestion for a series of post: a city guide where JCAs can suggest which J.Crews to shop at.

This post will focus on Washington, D.C.! With so many stores in the area, it might be too much to visit them all. So if you are a local, or a knowledgeable tourist, please share what stores a fellow JCA has to visit!

Feel free to share other tidbits of advice. For example... What are your top three spots? Are there certain stores that should be avoided at certain times of the day/ week? Are there stores that have a better selection than others? Which stores have the best sale offerings?

Which J.Crew brick & mortar (B&M) stores {in the D.C. area} should an out-of-towner shop at? Which stores should be avoided? Please share! :)

37 comments:

  1. First, I think it's important to understand that the concept of "customer service" is nonexistent in Washington DC. If you receive any type of customer service anywhere in the city, the employee probably has brain fever. That being said, if you absolutely need some type of attention that resembles customer service - J Crew in Georgetown is your best bet. The employees of the Georgetown store are nice, especially when the store is about to close and they want to get you out. But if you prefer to be treated with utter disdain, try the J Crew in Chevy Chase. (Sometimes I have to work up the courage to go to this store because the stare-downs are so severe.) Or if you prefer sheer indifference, try the J Crew in the Pentagon City Mall. In regards to selection, Georgetown is the best in my opinion, but over the years I've found some sale section gems in each of the stores. The Georgetown store is also in the best location for sightseeing - George Washington University, Georgetown University, the waterfront, M Street shopping, restaurants, and bars.

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    1. Shellye - I found your post hilarious and true (sadly). I absolutely agree about the Pentagon City store. The "very special" personal shopper there was so indifferent and even dismissive. I sometimes wonder how she got the job. I've never been greeted by anyone at that store. Ever. If I had to pick my favorite one, I'd pick Tysons. The sale section is, for the most part, pretty organized and there is usually someone who will greet you. That being said, I hate shopping at J Crew stores for reasons Shellye stated and prefer to do it online. The ridiculous $175 limit and $10 flat rate shipping really curbs my spending though (in a good way!).

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    2. I agree about Pentagon City. They behave as if customers are ghosts. Never had good customer service here when browsing, only at checkout. However, I disagree about Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights store. I actually miss that store since I moved from Woodley Park to Old Town Alexandria. A sales associate used to actually greet me by name when I walked in! She would also pick up things she knew I would love and efficiently usher me to the fitting room. Jcrew used to get a lot more out of my wallet when that store was closest to me. Wish I could remember her name, but alas it has been 3 years since I've been to that location :(.

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    3. Had a GREAT and oh-so-helpful shopping experience at the Montgomery Mall store. Staff was knowledgeable, attentive and helped me pull together some great new outfits; they willingly stayed an hour after closing to help me! Now THAT'S excellent customer service!

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  2. I travel quite a bit to Washington and I have to agree- at least in concept to Shellye's comment above. I've never been to the Chevy Chase B&M, but agree with the Pentagon City location comment. I've found Georgetown to be the best store in Customer Service, selection, sales, and stock. The Madewell in Georgetown? Not so friendly in my opinion but have only been there a handful of times. I will definitely go back- good selection, good sales, and good stock.

    HTH! Great idea for a Post!

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  3. Chevy Chase is definitely scary. I tend to shop out in the Maryland suburbs more--Montgomery Mall typically has a pretty good selection, and if you get the whole way out to Annapolis, the SAs are great (good sightseeing out that way too, maybe a day trip?)

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  4. I mostly shop at the Georgetown and Frienship Heights (Chevy Chase) locations.

    Georgetown always has a great selection of collection items and their sale racks are usually pretty good. I do try to avoid the Georgetown store on the weekends though. This store also accommodates bridal appointments. I always recommend Emma and Sophia, they are fabulous associates that I have worked with for years.

    The Friendship Heights or Chevy Chase location is small. However, I always have great luck with the sales rack. The associates have been changing a bit over the last few months, but I usually get good customer service. I mostly go during the week and sometimes during the weekend and the traffic is not too bad. Though lately, there are doing some construction in the mall where it is located so it's a bit annoying. However, there's lots of good high end shopping around (Neimans, Saks, Gucci) and even a Nordstrom Rack. If I am looking for a particular piece of jewelry this is the place I go as they always seem to have what I want. Also, the associates have always matched online prices to the merchandise in-store.

    Hope the info helps!

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  5. I agree Georgetown is the best store in the immediate DC area. The store is large, always well stocked and the sale section can be huge. The associates are helpful. Also a good place for people watching, I once shopped alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria shiver and their huge security detail! I occasionally go to pentagon city and friendship heights, but both stores are on the smaller side. I know it's more suburban, but I really like the Tyson's galleria store. It is large, sa's are very friendly and helpful, and the sale section can be awesome! There is a nice anthro and the areas only Tory burch store right above on the second level. Best concentration of high end stores, IMO better than Chevy chase.

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  6. While I have not had the pleasure of being greeted or treated with utter disdain at the area JC stores, I must agree that customer service can be skimpy in the WDC area (not just at the JC stores). I am a "sale"-shopper and bargain-hunter first and foremost, so I expect to be snubbed by the store associates in most stores(terrible to say but a reality) but I have been treated pretty much OK in most of the JC stores. IMO, there are the smaller Annapolis and Chevy Chase stores, where the selection is not large but the associates have been helpful (and friendlier in the Annapolis store); Bethesda store is large and I have found the associates very helpful over the phone; I do agree about Pentagon City, assistance is minimal and "extra" minimal if you go during a busy time; Columbia store is very spacious and extra "bright" making the shopping experience actually nice with associate help on a 6/7 out of 10 scale; G'town, IMO, seemed very snobby, however, they seem to have the most sales associates on the floor than most other stores...and I have experienced that "closing-time" extra help! I only go to the Tysons store if I am on that side of town but always able to find what I need (or just have to have) when I make the journey. While I have not been able to find that "special" personal JC specialist that I read about in the blogs, I agree that gems can be found at each store. I have never been to the Reston or Fair Oaks stores but I am eagerly awaiting the F. St store opening next month. I usually stalk the new arrivals or regular price items online until they start getting marked down but (as usual) the larger area stores have better selections than others, however, I find that they are generally the same across the board. BUT, the sale sections in each store offers a decent selection that I can make out pretty well, even at Pent City. I also like that the Pent City and Chevy Chase stores are on the metro line making them easily accessible (and I can get to the Anthro store/Accessory Shop in Chevy Chase). Good luck to everyone and maybe I will check out the G'town store a little more often!

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  7. The tysons galleria mall in virginia has the best sale section!They always have tons of shoes and accessories.

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  8. The Georgetown store is definitely my favourite but is absolutely hellish on the weekends (in fact, best to just avoid Georgetown in general during then...). Usually, I just head over to the store in Pentagon City because it's most convenient to get to from both home and work, and I can't recall having too many bad experiences there.

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  9. Of the 3 stores I visit -- Georgetown, Pentagon City, and Chevy Chase -- Georgetown is by far the best. Georgetown always has a large sale section, and there plenty of SAs on hand even on a busy day. The SAs are very attentive without being pushy at all. They'll not only gladly start a room with your clearance rack pile for you while you shop but also check back to see if you want any other sizes. Pentagon City is a small store and has a limited selection, occasionally no sale section. I also find the layout to be intimidating -- it's a big square and you feel like SAs are watching you while you shop (though rarely does anyone offer to start a room for me or assist me). Chevy Chase is not bad, just meh.

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    1. P.S. For those of you who aren't locals, Chevy Chase / Friendship Heights are the same thing, essentially two different names for that neighborhood.

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  10. My PS, Jennifer, is in the Tyson's store, and I've always had great service from her. All of the PSs I'veworked with at that store have been terrific. It does make a big difference when you go- I work a regular 9 to 5 job, but I work it out so that I visit J Crew on weekdays either first thing in the morning or after the lunch rush.

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  11. I think the Montgomery Mall, Chevy Chase and Tysons locations are best. They have a good sale selection and these three stores seem to have a good mix of jcrew's clothing. Tysons has been getting some collection items lately, Montgomery Mall has crewcuts and Chevy Chase shopping is generally outstanding and the jcrew is no exception.

    Georgetown is a nice store, but the M street traffic can be a nightmare at certain times of day. Pentagon City is fine, but the busloads of 8th graders on their school trips that get dropped off there daily make shopping at that mall sort of annoying.

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  12. I moved away two years ago and this post is really making me miss DC!

    The two stores closest to me were Chevy Chase and Montgomery Mall, and - as others have pointed out - neither one get top marks for customer service. The SA's at Montgomery Mall were a little bit friendlier, but it was always SO crowded in there. The shoppers skewed younger in age, generally. They consistently had a big sale section going on and I could find terrific deals on every visit. Chevy Chase had the best floor displays and the store itself was very well-kept with all of the newest rollouts, but the sale section was tiny. If I wanted the best selection overall, I'd head down to the Tyson's Galleria location. They always had the most stock, both sale and full price, of any of the locations that I frequented. The SA's were always very busy but polite. I rarely ever went to the Georgetown location because it was out of my way during the week and, as Malin Hu mentioned above, it's best not to attempt to get into Georgetown on a weekend unless you hoof it from Foggy Bottom Metro or take a cab.

    My absolute favorite J.Crew location in the DC/Baltimore area was at the Columbia Mall in Columbia, MD, just a 30 minute drive up Rt. 29 from the DC Beltway. The SA's were always friendly and attentive, and the store was bright and open with a great selection of J.Crew's perennial classics (they didn't carry as many shoes, accessories, or jewelry as the DC locations from what I can recall, although this might have changed). If you have a long layover at BWI, Columbia Mall is 10 minutes away from the airport by cab and it's a good place to kill time. HTH!

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    1. I'm not sure how in the world I missed this post, but I agree...Columbia Mall has the best associates and they recently moved to a bigger location. I checked it out today...I miss the skylights at the old location but this seems to be bigger.

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    2. Yes I agree with the Columbia mall comments! Great customer service and I always get great help from the same associate. I think Jenna is her name.

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  13. I tend to stay on the VA side, so my favorite is the Tysons store. Large, great sale section (almost always neatly organized), and helpful SAs who greet you.

    Fair Oaks is small and I never have any luck with their sale section. Seems like popular sizes/items are always picked over. SAs are nice and helpful though. A plus for this store is that they carry crewcuts. Every once in awhile I'll see kids' items in larger sizes that may fit smaller women.

    I've only been to the Reston and Pentagon City stores a handful of times. I'd place them in-between the Tysons and Fair Oaks stores in terms of size and sale section. SAs were generally not very helpful.

    J.Crew outlet in Leesburg is always packed on weekends. For some reason I always have high hopes but leave empty-handed. The online store usually has better selection and sizes.

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  14. I frequent the Columbia, MD and Annapolis, MD locations. Annapolis is smaller, but sometimes I find better deals in the sale section. A B&M will be opening in the Baltimore Harbor I believe this fall. So exciting!

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  15. How about an outlet comparison? I definitely prefer the J Crew Factory Store at Potomac Mills to the one in Leesburg. Less crowded, better organized, even seems like better sale prices and selection. Overall, Leesburg Outlets are better than Potomac Mills, but if J Crew is your main objective, go to Potomac Mills!

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  16. 1. Georgetown - best selection of fancier collection items. Also, they frequently do private 15% off events for local charities with cupcakes and champers. Invites were coming out nearly every 6 weeks in the Spring, I suspect another is happening soon.

    2. Tyson's - I work out there occasionally, it's a trek, so have only stopped in a handful (<10) times. Georgetown is better for collection items. However, the Tyson's store is the best as far as random online-only in-store returns (i.e. that gorgeous plaid Gloverall jacket from a few years ago).

    3. Pentagon City - my most frequently visited due to living on the Green Line. I only go at off-peak times, and have always been treated great. They're very cool about helping you get the best price, and finding items (even final sale items) for you. I highly recommend a young man named Kalied (sp?) in particular - so positive!

    4. Chevy Chase - I concur on the scowls. And feeling rushed in the dressing room. The sale selection is tiny, yet you'd think it was gold the way it is constantly swarmed by aggressive housewives. I have been hip-checked and b****es be throwin' elbows to get at a tattered Tippi. Nothing but negative experiences.

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  17. Rosie, the new JCrew store at the Baltimore Harbor is scheduled to open within the next 2 weeks. (sorry, the REPLY tab would not work for me)

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  18. I just got an email about the Baltimore Harbor East store - it's scheduled to open July 25, and the store is offering a "special gift" with a purchase of $250+. It's a great location, I have high hopes for the store!

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  19. Best JCrew outlet store is Potomac Mills for sure! I may be biased because I've spent my entire life 10 minutes from PMills, but seriously I never leave empty-handed from their JCrew outlet. The sales are always happening, and items are much cheaper in the store than the online Factory store. If you have means of transportation I would suggest anyone in DC to venture down to Northern Virginia and go to Potomac Mills. Some of my favorite JCrew clothing pieces are Factory pieces, and have lasted just as long as retail JCrew.

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  20. I have to second the props to ps Jennifer at the Tysons store and nominate Sarah as well. They are both a delight to work with. Very friendly and gracious.

    :) Jen

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    1. Thank you Jen! Its Sarah! I will pass on your words to Jennifer as well!

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  21. I live just outside DC, and am close to the stores in Montgomery Mall (Bethesda, MD), Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights, and Tysons (McLean, VA). The DC stores are also relatively close to me (the Georgetown store and a new store in downtown DC (9th and F, I think) which is scheduled to open in early August) but both are just too much of a pain to get to.

    Of the three I frequent, Tysons is my favorite for largest selection (both sale and non-sale), but Montgomery Mall is good for crewcuts and convenience (5 minutes from my house). I like just about all of the sales associates in both of the stores, although they all seem somewhat possessive of their clients. Having never worked in retail, I'm not sure if this is common, but I don't get how it can be like that and still have SAs that get along with each other! Nevertheless, they seem to manage... As for Chevy Chase, I think a big problem is that it is in a completely dying retail building -- almost all of the retail stores seem to be closing in that building, and it's depressing for me to even walk in there! And, it's so small -- I only go there when I happen to be in the neighborhood because I can't even remotely count on being able to find what I am looking for, in their very small selection of clothing. As for the SAs, I haven't encountered the scowling, but I wouldn't be too surprised -- it must kind of suck to work at that location...

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  22. I don't think I have ever been to the Leesburg Crewlet, BUT I have had good experiences at both the Potomac Mills one and the Arundel Mills one (which is the one I frequent because it's like 20 minutes from my house). I've been to the Queenstown and Hagerstown outlets a handful of times and remember them both as being spacious and nice.

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  23. My favorite is Tysons. I've always had great customer service there and had a wonderful experience today even! The SA was happy to return an item I'd forgotten about in my back seat and I was well over the 30 day window. She'd also just done a price adjustment to honor the 40% sale plus the student discount to the customer in front of me...on a worn item with no tags. This is definitely my go-to location, although the sale items get picked over quickly.

    Georgetown is a close second, though the parking is a turn off. I actually work right across the bridge in Rosslyn, but I take the metro and have never tried walking over into Georgetown. The store has a great selection and is laid out well.

    The Fair Oaks location is decent and has Crewcuts, but no Men's. It's a smaller store, so the selection is smaller too. The SAs have always been pretty nice.

    Like everyone else, I've never really had a good experience at Pentagon City. It's just so-so in my opinion.

    I don't visit there often, but when I have been to the Reston store, I get a pretty snotty vibe from the SAs. They do sometimes have cookies - always a plus :)

    The Leesburg outlet seems to always be a bust for me. It's often picked over and/or crowded. I've never gone to the Potomac Mills outlet though. I'll have to give it a try.

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  24. I Shop all over but enjoy Montgomery Tyson's and chevy chase stores the most. There is a new store opening clay metro center this fall. Honestly this is so much more centrally located for DC and since I work in capital hill it will awesome to have one closer to me.

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    1. YES! I hadn't heard the news about Metro Center. Can't wait!

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  25. I too shop all around the area...

    1) Columbia Mall for everything (which sadly is not in the immediate DC metro area)
    2)Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights for window displays (and some sale items that aren't at Montgomery Mall)
    3) Montgomery Mall for the convenience
    4) Tyson's for the giant sale section and the shoes

    Georgetown is not bad either, but as some have mentioned the parking situation is not ideal. They're all pretty good... but if I really needed to find something that's in high demand I head straight to Tyson's. Looking forward to the Chinatown location so I can browse on my lunch break :)

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  26. The 950 F Street store (Chinatown/Metro Center) is opening August 1st according to the insert inside my style guide! There's going to be a free gift with a $250 purchase while supplies last.

    As for existing DC area stores, I don't have a car, so I can only get to a handful of them.

    Best customer service: Tyson's Galleria

    My friend went in there this weekend looking for the Downtown Field jacket and since we had called ahead to have the ones in her size put on hold, the SA was ready and offered her a lot of styling tips. Chevy Chase in my past experience have always been a bit scary for me but it wasn't as bad as the time the SA at Georgetown locked me inside the fitting room (talk about panic attack!).

    Best sale selection: Georgetown

    I've found most of my sale items at this location. I'd have to say that Chevy Chase is a good second though. Pentagon usually has abundances in certain items but not as many as Georgetown.

    Pentagon's usually good for new arrivals but they sell out of everything (at least everything I've had on my wishlist) fairly quickly. I think it's because it's such a tourist attraction - Pentagon City Mall is actually a stop on those open roof bus tours.

    F Street will replace Pentagon as the most convenient location for me but I'll definitely pop in from time to time when I need to get a lot of shopping done.

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  27. The best one in DC is the F street location, hands down. The building is beautiful, the store itself is set up in a great way, and the associates are awesome. The Georgetown location I can only visit if I am feeling slightly masochistic that day.

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  28. I wanted to add a comment here because there have been several changes in the area. First, the F Street location, as the previous poster noted, is definitely the best in the area, and has by far the warmest customer service - the first time I went in I ended up having like a 20-minute chat with one of the male sales associates while in the dressing room. He's great and they're all quite friendly. I love the two-story layout and the sale section is pretty good.

    But the Georgetown store just moved to a new location further west on M Street, and I wanted to just point out that it is ENORMOUS. Truly huge. And gorgeous. And customer service is good, although I actually found it a little over the top - being asked if I needed help every 30 seconds is not actually that helpful. But they were trying, so I give them credit. Not much of a sale section yet since they're new, but they have plenty of space for a big one in the future. I'll still frequent F Street the most because it's near my office and I like it's slightly cozier feel, but Georgetown is a beautiful and immense store that is definitely worth a trip for out-of-towners.

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  29. Richard at F street is great. Sometimes the new SAs take forever to process returns. The Tyson's Galleria store will take back a final sale item if you buy something of equal or greater value (which you can then return the next day). The new men's only store at Tyson's Galleria is ridiculously small and claustrophobic. I will shop men's at other locations now. It is so small that when standing by the register to pay, anyone walking behind me runs into my purse if it is on my shoulder.

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Dear J.Crew Aficionadas & Aficionados: Please feel free (and encouraged) to share your thoughts and opinions. :) However, please note that this is still a personal blog. So comments that are considered inappropriate (e.g. obscene, racist, homophobic, personal attacks, rude, and just plain mean) will be removed.

And now back to J.Crew! :)