Retail News: The Kirkwood and Westheimer Half Price Books is on the Move!

 

Houston’s oldest operating Half Price Books location will soon likely be on the move to the Westchase Shopping Center. According to the Houston Chronicle, HPB leased space at 10915 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77042. This portion of the shopping center was originally part of the mall space, between Target and Weingarten. The space to be developed into the bookstore has most recently been Spirit Halloween and Mattress One. Prior to this, it was a Shoe Carnival, originally serving as a Walgreens in the mall days, and for a few years after. Attempts by Houston Historic Retail to confirm the move, ended with the answer “it’s a possibility” from the store Kirkwood store staff. The current location is 11960 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077 which is just about a mile and a half from the leased space. This move comes only months after HPB left Houston’s other former Weingarten mall, in an unrelated matter. According to the site plan for the current store, this move will cost the bookstore just over 2,000 Square Feet of space.

6 comments

  1. I think I’ll miss sneaking over to HPB on Overbrook without dealing with Westheimer as much as I’ll miss the space they’re losing. Still, better to see them sticking around than closing.

  2. I remember when this location was on the other side of this shopping center, between where Sprouts is now and the La Tapatia restaurant. It was a much smaller store with lower ceilings, and looked very similar to the Sugar Land location. Do you remember this? I believe they moved to this current space they are in now back in either 2006 to 2007.

    1. I do remember HPB being on the other side of what was then HEB, and later Oshman’s/Sports Authority. I don’t recall what exactly the interior looked like. I think there was a video store operating out of what was later the Half Price location.

  3. I have been a regular Half Price shopper since 1987 and a frequent shopper since 1997. Prior to this decade, I cannot recall any Houston locations closing without being replaced by newer, larger locations nearby (e.g. Montrose, Kirkwood, Webster). So far this decade, 3 locations have closed (Rice Village, Montrose, North Oaks) and one is significantly downsizing (Kirkwood). Not a good sign.

    What also concerns me is the company’s discontinuation of their sales. For years, they had a “week of savings” with coupons ranging from 20% to 50% off. I don’t remember the last time I received those coupons. The 20% off everything sales that were held multiple times a year were discontinued at the start of the pandemic and haven’t resumed. A year or two ago I asked a clerk at Kirkwood what happened to the sales. She said they didn’t have the staff. I was a bit surprised by her candor.

    We all know that print is a slowly dying medium and that bookstores are gradually vanishing with it. I always assumed that Half Price would outlast Barnes and Noble because they are a used bookseller. I’m not panicking about their demise but I’m starting to worry.

    1. This relocation is not without concern, however I think the future of this store is viable. Personally I would consider the new location an upgrade in status, even if it is slightly smaller the former Westhchase Mall is one of the “hipper” parts of this section of Westheimer at the moment. Hopefully getting closer to the Beltway will help to bring in more “regional shoppers”.

      As you mentioned the lack of replacement locations, and discontinuation of their famous coupons, do make me a bit more wary. I understand that the Montrose store was “somewhat of a surprise” in an economy that made finding new space difficult. However, the same can’t be said for West U. I’m not sure how far in advance HPB knew about the North Oaks shutdown, but again it seems like they could have worked out at least one replacement store for the three lost.

  4. As someone who occasionally shops at the Kirkwood Half Price Books, it’s a shame to see that the new Westchase store will be essentially half the size of the current Kirkwood location. On the other hand, at least Half Price Books is not closing this location outright like they have with a handful of other Houston locations here lately (it seems the San Marcos HPB is closing as well). From what I could find, it seems that the newer HPB locations the chain has opened in recent years are of a similar small size as what the Westchase store will be when it opens.

    I never considered the Kirkwood HPB to be all that big compared to, say, the old North Oaks HPB, but I will say that I have found a lot of good items there over the years. One odd thing about the Kirkwood HPB is that unlike any other HPB I’ve been in here in the last few years, they almost always ask for the customer’s Zip code when ringing up a purchase. In retrospect, I wonder if HPB knew they were going to move the Kirkwood location a while ago and they decided to gather some data on their customers to see which location would be best for a relocation. I don’t know, that’s just a guess.

    I must say that it is a bit odd that Half Price Books isn’t saying much about the move considering the new location has already been reported by the Chronicle. Granted, while we can’t say for sure that the Kirkwood location is closing when the Westchase location opens, it seems logical that would happen.

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