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This town ain't big enough for two clothing chains

H&M going out of business

Craig Caplan notes the impending demise of H&M in Downtown Crossing. Can't be a coincidence it happened not all that long after Primark's arrival, no?

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(which is to say, not built to last -- women friends frequently complain of H&M garments not surviving a second dry-cleaning, though in my experience, the tailored menswear is sturdier), better prices ($15 for a decent pair of basic chinos or jeans), much bigger selection (Primark must have five or six times the floor space), and sizes that fit Americans better (a men's 44 jacket at H&M fits like a 40 at most places; Primark sizes are closer to bolshy American sizing, i.e., a Medium is equivalent to an XL from 1980.)

Probably doesn't help that H&M also has stores on Newbury (a mile away), Cambridgeside (less than two miles away) and Braintree.

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Pro-tip for your friend: it costs more to dry clean an H&M garment than to re-buy it.

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I'm a bottom feeder at any retail new-clothing outlet, like to wait for a sale price, but my sizes are popular, tend to get bought up fast; I imagine it's the same for many ladies.

In the fast-fashion category, I'd say Uniqlo has the best quality at slightly higher prices. I bought some polos with button-down collars (which stand up better under a sport coat) a few years ago, wear them a lot, have home laundered them a hundred times, and they have worn really well. It has a similar sizing issue to H&M: stuff runs small, maybe unsurprising from a Japanese company.

Most of my tailored clothing is untrendy: quality vintage and rather fewer pieces of quality newer clothing found at consignment or thrift. It's astonishing how much expensive new clothing utterly pales in quality of materials and construction compared to items made 60, 40, or even 20 years ago. I have a few pieces that are 80 years old: with care -- I have to be ever-vigilant against clothes moths -- they could survive my theoretical grandchildren. We live in a disposable age.

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Oh, yeah. I've made Uniqlo's shirt-collar polos a staple of my wardrobe this summer.

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have replaced H&M as my t-shirt of choice. Love em.

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H&M Customer Service didn't know the store was closing??

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do this, too, likely to prevent a mass employee exodus.

At least at H&M -- unlike, say, a Todd English restaurant -- the landlord, vendors and employees won't get bent over and reamed at the end of things: http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/2009/04/todd-english-sobs-quietly-into-big-...

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I suspect this is the beginning of a systematic purge of all these cut rate DTX places, as the rich moving into Millennium Place start to make their mark. Money talks.

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probably walked away from an extended lease after running the numbers: they've got the deep pockets for a long-view move like that. The other multi-national chains won't pull up stakes so easily: at a public-transportation hub like DTX, a Primark, DSW or Century 21 is still well-situated. I'll still shed a tear if Kenmore Army & Navy goes. The scary watershed moment will be if E.B. Horn can't hang on. Gentrification always hoses the little guys.

I'm more terrified of what is likely to happen to Chinatown. Xinh Xinh and Maxim Coffee House look like canaries in a coal mine to me. There's a lot of irreplaceable value to lose there.

The death of Old Man Bars all over Greater Boston is a whole 'nother sad discussion. I might just have to tear my teeth out when Paddy's Lunch inevitably gets sold to build an ugly condo block, and I only get there maybe once a year.

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Plus, even people who buy high-end condos will shop at a lot of cheap places. They may not love the shopping crowd it attracts, but my guess is that having a store situated right at the juncture of 4 subway lines is enough of a cash cow to make the very large corporations that own them dig in like dog ticks.

Also, I can't imagine that Primark is disappearing from DTX anytime soon, and if one of the two anchor stores is a bargain chain, that will make keeping at least a few of the other cheap places around.

I dread the day the Watch Hospital disappears. I only need it every few years, but they are the only folks I know who can repair a heart rate monitor.

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But who's going to miss CeX and all those others "we buy what you steal" places?

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You would think but they are putting an Old Navy into the Millennium building. I heard a presentation a few years ago stating that H&M was in incredibly high performing. That was when they were next to the hole.

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that Old Navy is moving into the Millennium Tower as one of their anchor tenants?

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For years, this was my go-to H&M for things that the Newbury Street and Cambridgeside Galleria H&M stores were out of.

They always had popular items longer, and more good items on the clearance rack, than the other two Boston locations. It makes sense that the store wasn't doing well.

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Though Newbury has gotten much better since the remodel, and I actually tend to go there more often than DTX now. I'm sure others in the same boat were part of it, aside from Primark and the Gap Factory opening down the street.

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It sucked. And why the hell was it always grossly overheated? One time, I swear, it must have been 100 degrees.

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And how long did it take me to find they're super basic one color/print $20 hoodie....ages.

This store had a severe issue with overflowing inventory. I shudder at the state of which their stock room is in, that is if corporate gives them much space. I suspect this was an older layout of a store too or some small/urban store type. Always such a wreck

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OK, woolworth is long gone - maybe a downtown target???

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Plus it has booze.

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it's a very good store. and a 45 minute walk away... :) Downtown is a short walk from all subway lines, and lot os folks 'pass through' downtown getting from A to B.

"in the end" Boston was one of the Woolworth that was actuallymaking money, and was always crowded. But, like Malls everywhere, 'thing' stores are being replaced by clothing stores.

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I've always preferred my local mall H&M to the DTX one, which is trying too hard to be a boutique instead of a mass merchant. Primark is my main reason to visit the area when I'm in town during the day, though I find it rather hit or miss (some really low quality stuff, and not a huge selection though it's got a lot of square feet). They do make some decent tshirts (rayon though) and I'm always hoping for new colors of their super-stretch jeggings. Their non-causual clothes are absolute shit though. H&M does the "budget professional wear" thing much better.

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Would have bought more there if they carried more in sizes other than two and four. Sure, they made stuff in average sizes ... Just never had more than one or two items in stock. I asked the manager why and they said "we only get what they send us - they don't listen". Similar if opposite issue with my boys on the men's side. I guess H&M corporate thinks all Boston women are tiny and men are XXL. Never mind that these things did not sell and stuffed clearance racks later on. The store couldn't win doing business like that.

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Totally agree with you on this point. Boston clothing stores think most men are XXL. The mediums are often sold out... my husband has a hard time finding clothes in stock that are his size. Talked to a few department store sales associates and they said they hear that complaint all of the time. Walking around Boston, I don't see a lot of plus size or large men, so clearly buyers for these stores have not done their research.

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DTX is pretty much only discount clothing stores, and Primark is not even the newest of the bunch (that's Forever 21, until Old Navy opens). I wonder if it has more to do with rent prices and less to do with competition.

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I always preferred this location, because I hate Newbury Street (well, I hate the people who gravitate toward Newbury Street), and I hate Primark even more. Oh well.

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The building is gonna knocked down and a new building is going in its place

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Isn't the Marshalls/TJ Maxx in the same building? What's going to happen to them? Never understood why they BOTH need to be there anyways, of course (same parent company, basically the same stuff in each store.)

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TJ Maxx and Marshalls are exactly the same store with exactly the same merchandise. Same parent company. If there are any differences they are very slight. Maybe somebody that knows business better than me knows why the same store has two different names.

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In the case of the DTX stores, TJ Maxx carries home goods/furniture and Marshalls doesn't. This Marshalls also carries children's items and I don't believe the TJ Maxx does. I do find that in Boston generally, TJ Maxx carries more high end brands and has a better selection of women's handbags, however Marshalls typically has a better shoe selection.

While a lot of the apparel seems to be the same, sometimes I get lucky and see a nice dress or top in different colors between the two stores. The two items are still usually cheaper than what one item retails for--and as a young working professional that does help my wallet.

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The building is only 15 years old.

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