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Life after Filene's: 4 Downtown Crossing shopping spots you can count on

To say Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood is historic would be a massive understatement. While many of us knew it best as the home of the eponymous Filene’s Basement, recent years have seen the area transition into even more of a melting pot of mega-chains.

Macy's in Downtown Crossing. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki Macy's won't leave us like Filene's did, right?
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki

To say Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood is historic would be a massive understatement. While many of us knew it best as the home of the eponymous Filene’s Basement, recent years have seen the area transition into even more of a melting pot of mega-chains. And while they may be tucked in the nooks and crannies of Washington Street and beyond, many longtime jewelry stores continue to thrive thanks to devoted customer bases and friendly customer service. Inside the Boston Jewelry Exchange, which has anchored the area since 1922, you’ll find over 150 independent jewelers specializing in everything from wedding rings to broken watches. But there’s lots more in this diverse neighborhood, so here’s our guide to Downtown Crossing’s best retail outposts.

Bromfield Jewelers
Take a glance up and down Washington Street, and you’ll find more than a few family-run jewelry stores that have been there for decades. Bromfield is tucked away on Bromfield Street, but they’re widely known for their customer service and large array of engagement rings. Buy and sell estate jewelry from those who know it best, specialize in brands like Cartier, David Yurman, Harry Winston and more. A fledgling social media presence brings this historic company into the digital age.
(49 Bromfield St., 617-423-7464, www.bromfieldjewelers.com)

Kenmore Army Navy Store
It’s no secret that Army/Navy stores are great sources for durable yet reasonably priced clothing. But here at Kenmore Army/Navy, you’ll find everything from pea coats and canvas messenger bags to snarky t-shirts and camping gear, packed to the brim. A stocked hat section offers everything from knit winter hats under $10 to safari and sailor hats. Even basketball great and former Celts player Shaquille O’Neal has been known to stop by.
(477 Washington St., 617-292-2769)

Macy’s Department Store
It’ll never be Filene’s Basement again, but Macy’s is still the mothership of Downtown Crossing. This classic department store has everything from children’s clothes and home accessories to cosmetics and jewelry. Since they’re open until 9, folks just getting out of the office can run in quickly before heading into the direct entrance to the MBTA’s Red and Orange lines, meaning you won’t even have to go above ground before catching your train home. It’s not the most organized Macy’s you’ll ever see, but it’s certainly a mainstay of the area.
(450 Washington St., 617-357-3000, www.macys.com)

H&M
Men and women looking for stylish clothes at bargain prices flock to Downtown’s H&M, which turns into a mob scene on Friday afternoons and weekends. But outside of those hours, you’ll find enough space to shop comfortably and score monster deals, without the flocks of tourists that head to the Newbury Street outpost. Stock up on $10 tights for autumn, and grab trendy jewelry for extra-cheap up by the register. A large children’s department means you can shop for your tot at bargain prices as well.
(350 Washington St., 855-466-7467, www.hm.com)

 

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