Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re taking a video look at one of Houston’s former interesting retail setups, The Kaleidoscope Center. From 1984-2019, The Kaleidoscope Center stood at the corner of Westheimer and Blue Willow. The center was constructed in 1984 by United Savings as a new retail concept for the bustling Westchase area. At the time, some other ambitious retail concepts in the area included the Market at Westchase, and by that point established Weingarten’s Westchase Mall. During the construction of this center, United Savings would acquire a 36% share in Weingarten’s Realty. While …Keep reading
Retail News: Big Grand Opening Weekend nets Houston two new Sporting Goods Stores
On Friday, Houston saw the grand opening of two new sporting goods outlets from well-established chains. Academy opened a location in Meyerland in a space left behind by a recently closed Hobby Lobby. This new Academy seems to have opened in response to competitor Dick’s Sporting Goods, who opened up shop across The Loop in the former Meyerland Plaza Bed Bath and Beyond. The new Academy is a bit of a compromise, as they are used to building their own locations. As such, this store feels a bit cramped, dropping the familiar loop layout for only a single major walkway …Keep reading
Retail News: Spec’s Rice Epicurean Experiment Opens Today!
This HEB in a former Holiday Foods Minimax has an interesting history
Howdy folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today we’re taking a look at a town South of Houston that retail history has mostly forgotten, Santa Fe. The grocery history of Santa Fe, Texas, is quite an interesting one. No major chains managed to take hold of the market until HEB showed up in 1993. Prior to that, the locals made do with independents. The area itself has an interesting history; Santa Fe is a relatively recent town, only popping up in 1978. Prior to that, the area was known as Alta Loma. The location was settled in the 1800s to …Keep reading
Halloween Costume Conversions 2022: Featuring Randall’s, Sears, and More!
Boo! And welcome to Houston Historic Retail! Today, we’re celebrating Halloween by checking out four costume conversions in what is HHR’s longest-running theme post dating back to 2018. Man, I was really playing to an empty room back then, but thankfully my fan base has grown substantially there are dozens of you now! Ever since the 2019 debut of Costume Conversions, the series has always been a favorite of mine. It’s always fun to get back into a dead retailer and see what got left behind. This year, we have the privilege of visiting a chain never seen as a …Keep reading
Part 3: A final look at the afterlife of Auchan
Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a three-part series, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 as well! Bonjour, folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail for one final installment at our beloved former Auchan. In our first installment, we talked mostly about the history of Auchan and how they ended up in Houston. Our second session touched on the experience of Auchan and their reach in our community. For our final installment, we’ll talk about what happened to our own Hypermaché and what the building has been used for since. As a true-to-form Hypermarket, …Keep reading
Return to Krogerstons Express, aka Kwik Stop’s lost cousin!
Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re taking a look at a Krogerstons Express! For those unaware, a Krogerstons, is a Kroger in a former Albertsons, which we have plenty of in the Houston area. While Albertsons did re-enter some former store spaces when purchasing Safeway (including Randall’s), they stand to reenter a large number of former stores depending on the outcome of their planned merger. When Albertsons exited Houston in 2002, they left behind plenty of modern and up-to-date stores. Their issue was not necessarily low sales but rather over-expansion. With the odds stacked against …Keep reading
Retail News: Ollie’s Bargain Outlet opens in Katy on October 26th
The newest Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in the Houston area is scheduled to open this Wednesday, October 26th. The new store, located at 1747 N Fry Rd, Katy, TX 77449, takes the place of a former Stein Mart and will be the second Ollie’s on Houston’s westside and the third overall in the area. The replacement of Stein Mart with Ollie’s sees a return to full tenancy for The Crossing at Fry, which has suffered with vacancies, such as Kroger in 2016. Another vacant spot in the same shopping center, a former Dry Cleaning Shop, will soon play host to Voodoo …Keep reading
Part 2: Auchan tries to build roots, then along comes Food Town
Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a three-part series, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 3 as well! Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re continuing with Part 2 of a three-part series covering Auchan. Last time, we left off right at the start of Auchan in Houston while taking a look at the mall portion. Today we’ll continue the story and take a look at the grocery side of the store, which is still serving its intended purpose over 30 years later. The fanfare around the arrival (scroll up for a …Keep reading
The Kroger-Albertsons Merger, and what it could mean for Houston
Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’ll be discussing the Kroger and Albertsons merger/buyout announced last week and what it could mean for Houston. So I’m not accused of burying the lead here, the short answer is we don’t know the exact impact yet. The long answer, however, is we know enough that we can make some predictions. For those out of the loop, Kroger has officially agreed to acquire Albertsons for $24.6 Billion. In Houston, Albertsons is represented by Randall’s, which was acquired along with the rest of Safeway back in 2015. Kroger, on the …Keep reading