Retailers in Washington, D.C., remain on edge a day after hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol in what became the legislative center’s most violent day in more than 200 years.
As an armed standoff took place between rioters and police officers, stores including urban lifestyle retailer DTLR and family-owned business Comfort One Shoes, as well as big-box chain Target, shopping mall CityCenterDC and more, took precautions such as shutting down business earlier than usual and sending their workers home in an effort to protect employees and customers who could’ve been caught in the crossfire.
DTLR has several outposts in the D.C. area — two of which are within three miles of the Capitol. Yesterday, it closed those locations a few hours ahead of 7 p.m. due to a curfew implemented by Mayor Muriel Bowser from 6 p.m. on Wednesday to 6 a.m. today.
In a statement to FN, EVP of people and culture Jeff Bowden said, “DTLR condemns the insurrection and chaos that took place yesterday at the U.S. Capitol… Our teams stay apprised of local events and react accordingly.”
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Comfort One Shoes currently operates two stores in northwest D.C. — with only one employee helming each outpost. (Its Union Station unit was shuttered as the COVID-19 health crisis led to the drastic decline of tourists and businesspeople in and out of the city.) Speaking with FN, SVP Shawn O’Neill explained that both employees were sent home early and got out of the stores before 4 p.m. (The locations regularly close at 6 p.m.) “We’re a little bit away from most of the protests, but we wanted to be careful and make sure we protected our folks,” he said. “Today we’re open, and we’ve monitored [the situation] all morning long.”
He added, “The city is much quieter today. There is a better presence of police and National Guard, so the tension of yesterday is not quite how it was yesterday.”
Target also temporarily closed its doors in D.C. as the violence took hold, leading to the deaths of at least four people, including one woman who was shot during the insurrection. A spokesperson for the company said that its “top priority is the safety of our team members and guests” and that it would “continue to monitor the situation closely.”
FN also called Shoes by Lara, Shoe City and Soulier Shoes with stores close to the Capitol, but they did not answer the phone.