Retail News: Phonecia’s got company, as 99 Ranch Market lands ex-CompUSA spot

Howdy folks, and welcome back to HHR. In this week’s news brief 99 Ranch Market lands an anchor spot, on Westheimer, and Quiktrip prepares for its first Houston proper location.

99 Ranch Market lands former CompUSA spot on Westheimer across from Phonecia

The former CompUSA sits almost unrecognizable. It’s like a large entrance will be added, and the stores to the right demolished for some sort of expansion. The back left corner of the shopping center has been demolished, likely intending for a cutback to Overbrook Lane.

Nearly two months ago, I posted some photos to Facebook of the old CompUSA/Goodwill Computer Works spot on Westheimer near Kirkwood. The interior of the buildings was being gutted, and nearly every tenant had moved out. It was clear something was in the works, but no one knew what new anchor tenant landed in this spot. Sitting vacant for the better part of the past 15 years, it looks like the next retailer in this space will be Asian Chain Grocer, 99 Ranch Market. Headquartered out of California, 99 Ranch Market currently operates over 50 supermarkets, 8 of which are in Texas. This new store will be the chain’s third Houston area location. Their entry into Texas began in 2008 with the redevelopment of the former Blalock Fiesta abandoned during the Katy Freeway expansion. Their next store opened in a former Palais Royal in Sugar Land just a year later, and their most recent store opened in a former Kroger in Katy in 2016.

Slow growth seems to be related to the fact that this is a multistate push. 99 Ranch Market’s numbers have grown greatly since its initial entry into Texas. More than doubling from 25 stores at that time, to their current size. However, this slow growth has no doubt benefited them. Houston is a tough grocery market to crack, but 99 Ranch Market seems to be headed in the right direction. As for location selection, it seems that 99 Ranch Market may be somewhat deliberate in its attempt to take on Phonecia. They also have Fiesta as a challenger in international groceries a bit down the road, however, the company has been less international lately and more decidedly Hispanic. Overall this is a very competitive area for grocers and densely packed with shoppers that would likely be interested in another international grocer. However, we’ll see how a strictly Asian Grocer will fare in what will be a fully reimagined shopping center.

5 comments

  1. I was wondering what was going on there as I pass by this spot regularly. Thanks Mike!

  2. A badass sportscard shop was here years ago. They got smart and moved a few blocks over to a much nicer center.

  3. This stretch of Westheimer is once again becoming a haven for grocery stores. It is good to see. It wasn’t long ago that it appeared to be becoming a retail graveyard.

    99 Ranch also seems like it will compete with the small Japanese grocer just north on Dairy Ashford, Seiwa Market.

  4. Not only did I shop at the CompUSA and Goodwill Computer Works stores in this shopping center, but I also shopped at what CompUSA was before they were known as CompUSA, Soft Warehouse! With that in mind, it’s quite strange seeing this shopping center get a full makeover, but it is something that needed to happen. 99 Ranch Market is a solid retailer. Access to shopping centers on this stretch of Westheimer can be quite difficult when traffic is bad, but that hasn’t stopped many other retailers in the area from thriving so I think 99 Ranch Market should have a good shot here.

    1. I have lots of fond shopping memories here from both iterations as well. I agree that 99 Ranch Market is a solid retailer, and should provide some serious competition to Phonecia. Access is much improved but still somewhat limited. It’s a little bit more restricted than Phonecia actually, but I don’t thin it’ll be enough to impact business.

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