Retail News: Burlington likely to move out of Almeda Mall and Ollie’s makes plans for Friendswood Babies ‘R Us

Welcome to Retail News: This week we learn about a big tenant loss for Almeda Mall, a new Ollie’s Bargain Outlet pops up in a familiar location!

Almeda Mall Burlington is likely to close as a new nearby store is being planned

The former JC Penney Store in as it appeared in a 2018 visit

The Burlington (Coat Factory) at Almeda Mall has operated at Almeda Mall for just shy of 15 years at this point. The store opened in 2009 replacing JC Penney after they chose to relocate in 2006. While ambitions seemed to be for the space to end up subdivided between multiple tenants, only Burlington ever occupied the space. Their operations took up approximately half of the building with an odd setup featuring a hallway to lead customers to the old Penney’s restrooms You can see that the other quarter of the store sits in a semi-finished state, with an exterior entrance even fully available unused. With the store sitting underutilized, it’s not much of a surprise that Burlington would make plans to move out in search of a better-suited space. This new store is a small portion of a larger building as part of a recent trend in downsizing for Burlington. Located at 11546 Gulf Freeway Houston, TX 77034 this entire building was originally a Woolco store. After closing in 1983 the far left portion of the building was subdivided serving as many different outlets. Including Front Row Department Store, Bizmart, and Office Max. However, more recently the space has mostly been vacant hosting a few transient tenants in the last year or so. While Burlington has yet to officially announce the move, they have filed permits for a build-out of this new location, which is directly across the street from Almeda Mall. It seems unlikely the two stores will remain open concurrently.


Ollie’s Bargain Outlet makes plans for former Babie’s ‘R Us Space in Friendswood

The newest Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in the Houston area is being planned at 18182 Gulf Fwy, Friendswood, TX 77546 in a former Babie’s ‘R Us. The space which closed in 2018 as part of the TRU Bankruptcy, sat vacant until early 2021 when Houston’s first Dick’s Warehouse location opened. According to inside sources, the location was quite successful and represented the entire stock of the Dick’s Houston area clearance sections in one location. The management wished for the store to remain open, but the landlords had a reported “dispute” that HHR’s source was not privy to. However, it now seems that the cause of the dispute was likely the desire of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet to acquire the location. During the early stages of Toys ‘R Us store closings, Ollie’s hinted at committing to a large number of locations across the country, and it could be that their desire to eventually occupy this space is what kept potential tenants out, and also explains the very temporary nature of Dick’s Warehouse store. Ollie’s plans show little modification to the building except to shrink down some warehouse and backroom space in exchange for adding a bit of “warehouse sales floor” for rugs and such. Ollie’s has yet to make a public announcement about their new store, however, work should soon begin within the next couple of months.


  1. Pretty big news for Almeda Mall for Burlington to leave. It would probably be best to demolish that brutalist structure and try to extend the mall a bit. Some kind of TJMaxx or Ross would be a good fit, if they were to leave the nearby shopping center.

    Ollie’s is going to continue to grow, I see several potential locations for them in the near future. I wonder if Ollie’s is moving into the recently vacated Forever 21 second floor at Deerbrook Mall. Forever 21 vacated the first floor for a couple of years and recently flip flopped to the bottom floor of their previously two floor anchor. Now the exterior of the second floor of the anchor is under construction for something new.

  2. It’s a bit of a shame that Burlington Coat Factory (not affiliated with Burlington Industries, of course) might be moving out of Almeda Mall. Say what you want about Burlington, but at least it’s a traditional retailer. I’m not sure if that old JCPenney spot will get another traditional anchor that fits into at least part of an old anchor building. Almeda Mall does well enough that maybe there’s some hope for something good to come there, but with Kohan owning the mall now, the chances of that looks to be diminished.