Welcome to Shoppers World Houston’s newest “department store”

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today we’re heading to Shoppers World for the first time! For those not in the know, this will likely include some new readers since the now viral Shipley post (thank y’all for that, by the way!). Shoppers World is Houston’s newest “department store,” and I use that term loosely, as you’ll see in the photos today. Shoppers World originates out of New York and has a difficult-to-follow history. It is possibly related to another company that entered Texas in the 60s, also under the name Shoppers World, which ended up spinning off its Texas operations as 50-Off (later Lots-Off). However, multiple acquisitions on both sides make it difficult to trace the lineage precisely. The current iteration of Shoppers World first opened in Texas in Dallas around 2016. During the collapse of Sears, the company took up residence in two former Sears properties, Irving Mall in Dallas and South Park Mall in San Antonio. For whatever reason, Houston was not selected for a new Shoppers World. Seemingly wanting to test the market, like Dallas, they have opted for a strip center store here rather than a mall anchor. The store is being treated very low-key, with some information not making it into the Chronicle. HHR did make attempts to contact the retailer, which were never returned, unlike most media requests I’ve sent these days. The store is in the middle third of a former Target in the Steeplechase Plaza on Jones Road and 1960. As mentioned, the store is very low-key, so much so that a Google Maps place marker does not yet exist for the location. The grand opening deals were quite interesting, including an AppleWatch, Ring Doorbell, and various Window Unit A/C’s. The company sets itself up closer to a Mass-Merchandiser like Sears than a traditional department store like Penney’s.

Overall my thoughts on the store were mixed. It’s not a horrible place to shop, but it’s quite evident that Shoppers World is testing the waters here. In some ways, it feels like they cheaped out in the store. While it’s mostly unrecognizable from its former Target self, there’s also not much in the way of infrastructure. The store uses moveable fixtures, with a front-end single-line checkout similar to most other “discount department stores.” In a competition for who’s the better representative of a department store, it would likely be Shoppers World, however, in terms of merchandise. I think Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s blow Shoppers World out of the water. The prices were not bad, but the Men’s clothing and shoes selection was pathetic. There was a much larger focus on Women’s and Children’s selections. The hard lines were also all a bit dated in terms of styling and brands you have mostly never seen. Again prices were not bad, but when sharing some of these photos with Anonymous in Houston, he commented that the options looked like things you’d find towards the end at Kmart. I think it was a very apt comparison. It’s not that all the merchandise is junk. They’re just not things the everyday shopper would need. Regarding Women’s and Children’s clothing, those two selections did seem to be doing quite well in terms of sales. Hopefully, my edit to Google Maps will be published by the time this article comes out because if their grand opening was any indication, this store will likely need all the help it can get. We’ll have to wait and see if Shoppers World eventually decides to take on one of Houston’s many vacant mall anchor spots.

4 comments

  1. My first time I took my grandson he love it he got jeans and shirts for school took my daughter she got school clothes for her going to pre-k she love it and I love it 2

  2. I’m pleased to see that the old Steeplechase Target now has two traditional retailers in it. Well, we know Ollie’s is a closeouts/discount store, but I’m not quite sure what to make of Shoppers World. The random mix of products and brands seems like something from Kmart during the Sears bankruptcy era as mentioned in the article. The excessive amount of toilet seats was a Kmart trademark during that era not so long ago and so do the cleaning supplies.

    I’m not sure where those carts came from, but they are certainly used models. The carts look rather big so I don’t know if they are from Aldi. Old Kmart carts, which would be more fitting here, are next door at Ollie’s!

    Those fragrances are mostly knockoff ones. Some of these clothing items, like the NY caps, look like something from a New York City gift shop. I’m not sure how well those will sell in Houston, but maybe Shoppers World figures their audience are former New Yorkers since Shoppers World is from that part of the country.

    Speaking of New Yorkers, or New Jersey at least, I believe YouTube user Vwestlife uses those Kodak Xtralife Alkaline batteries! Who knows, maybe Vwestlife even buys them from Shoppers World. Shoppers World also has Panasonic and Kodak non-alkaline batteries. If priced right, those batteries do have their uses in things like remotes and clocks.

    I’m not sure what is up with that Eureka vacuum cleaner. That box does not look authentic. Maybe it is a 3rd party refurbished product or something?

    I suppose Shoppers World will benefit by being next to Ollie’s (and near 99 Cents Only, Big Lots, etc.). While Ollie’s is probably a better option for a lot of things, their clothing is not exactly desirable unless one wants to dress like a gas station employee. I think Shoppers World can top that admittedly very low standard at the very least and maybe people will visit both stores when they shop in the Jones & FM 1960 area.

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