Sears Willowbrook Mall Experiment is Closing

The mall entrance still sports unmodified signage

The Sears Hometown located inside of Willowbrook Mall has started the closing process for their store a short six months after opening. The scheme was a way to put former Sears Mall buildings and a few former Kmarts to use as prospective tenants for this former mainline store, which closed in 2020, failed to step up. The closure was first reported to HHR by regular contributor Anonymous in Houston, who noticed a Google Review stating the store was closing. This rumor was confirmed by visiting the store and finding the yellow closing/clearance tags attached to all products. The closing does not come as a complete surprise for those following the blog, as the Sears Hometown Store in Plaza Paseo (Pasadena Town Square Mall) met a similar fate earlier this summer. This is a sad outcome for what could have been a quite successful concept. This Willowbrook location was supposedly acting as a distribution center for other stores and appliance deliveries. Meaning that Sears will need to secure another space for these activities if they have any intention to continue operations. At this point, the Willowbrook and Humble locations have been removed from the Sears Hometown website, while Sugar Land remains, indicating that at least that location will remain open for the time being.

While it’s sad that Sears is abandoning what could have been a viable concept, my deepest consolations go out to the employees. These were no doubt difficult stores to work in, dealing with customers who expected a mainline store or had issues with products these locations did not carry. While not able to answer every question, employees were always quite helpful to me and genuinely polite people. All the employees I spoke to were proud of their stores and had grand dreams for them. Good luck out there, folks!

16 comments

  1. With the Sears brand name and the temporary look with how everything seems hastily arranged, people probably don’t want to buy appliances at a place that doesn’t look like they’ll be around in a year. Imagine if they needed to do a return or resolve other issues. Not surprised this concept failed, but it would have been nice to have something fill that spot.

  2. It appear that the Willowbrook and Humble stores remain on the Sears HT locations site, even though they are closing. The individual store pages redirect to the Sealy store. It also appears that Sugar Land has possibly closed as that location is not listed.

    1. Sugar Land seems to be in the process of closing, their page was still up last I checked, although similarly, it redirects. It’s still under the Appliance Showroom name, I think. Who knows how long Sealy will stick around for.

  3. Not shocking, but sad nevertheless. Given that they took the time and effort to put up permanent signage, I think I was hoping this would last longer.

  4. It is sad to hear that the Willowbrook Mall Sears is closing…again. I would have liked for this Sears Hometown Store to have lasted more than half a year, but I can’t say I’m too surprised that the plug was pulled so early given how short of lives some of the other Sears Hometown Stores had. Oh well, at least they tried to bring this Sears back to life. I can’t say I ever expected it to become a Sears again after it closed initially in 2020. Who knows what Eddie Lampert might be up to in the future. Maybe it’ll become a Sears yet again!

    1. Thanks for breaking this news anonymous and Mike. I was planning on going to this store for a few months now and didn’t go. I finally went this past weekend but the employee on duty asked me not to take photos. I did manage to snap a few for the blog before the employee talked to me. The product selection was about as limited as the Pasadena store was on my final visit.

      1. Actually, it was your inquiry into the current status of the Humble and Willowbrook Mall Sears Hometown Stores which led to my discovery that they were closing! Although the Humble Sears Hometown Store was the oldest and smallest Sears Hometown Store between it, Pasadena, and Willowbrook, the Humble store was probably the best-stocked, best presented store. Unfortunately, even that wasn’t enough to keep that store around. It’s a shame.

        That’s too bad about being asked not to take photos at the Willowbrook location, but at least you got something for the blog. It’ll be nice to document one of Eddie Lampert’s strangest retail attempts over at your blog.

        1. I tried to visit the Humble store yesterday, but I was too late in the day. I should have a chance today or tomorrow to go by and document the store. I read a new comment up above that says Sugarland is closing too. I wonder if this is the last gasp for Sears. The smaller Hometown concept seemed like their best chance at survival and those are dropping like flies now.

          I did get pretty much the entire Hometown store area photographed and even some video footage of the tarp tunnel parkway. I was able to get a lot more footage of the Pasadena store and almost walked up the escalator to see the second floor.

          1. Je, we were able to get confirmation that the Sugar Land Sears Hometown Store is closing along with the other remaining Houston Sears Hometown Stores. With that, the closest remaining Sears Hometown to me at least is the one in Sealy. The Sealy one might be franchised-owned rather than corporate-owned so maybe it’ll last longer.

            I’m looking forward to seeing the posts you’ll have about these Sears Hometown Stores, but it’ll certainly be sad that there are a new batch of Sears closing pictures to add to the blog. It’s funny, and sad, that this whole Sears Hometown experiment might have led to the downfall of Sears Appliance store locations in places such as Sugar Land, League City, and Cypress that had otherwise survived the closures of Sears full-line stores.

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