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.