Author: Mike

My name is Mike and I am the founder of the Houston Historic Retail! I have been running this site since 2015. For more information check out the About page!

A guess at why Circle K has had trouble lately in Houston

Howdy folks and I’m glad you’ve found yourself back at HHR. Today we’re talking about what’s likely to become a local issue within the next few years, the underperformance of Circle K. Depending on your age, you may remember the giant red K’s, first go at Houston. Despite being founded in El Paso during the 1950s, Circle K has never had an easy go of Houston. Their first attempt at expanding here started in 1983 with their purchase of U-Tote-M Food Stores, from an insurance company that had purchased them as an investment. However, the iconic Totem Poles weren’t immediately …

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Could Houston’s oldest Safeway locations date back to the 1950s?

The building on the far left, was originally a local drug store "Fisher's Pharmacy"

Howdy folks, welcome back to HHR. Today we’re dipping out of Houston proper for the quick drive over to central Pasadena, no not to make fun of the Sears Hometown in the old mainline store there, (that update will be coming soon). Rather, we’re checking out a building I have passed up many times when it was masquerading as a Value Village. However, after a new business popped up inside I took the chance to stop by and visit what is one of the Houston area’s oldest unmodified Safeway stores. Located at 2127 Southmore Ave, Pasadena, TX 77502 Store Number …

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Retail News: Randall’s in Sugar Land prepares to close as Sam’s Club in West Houston prepares to reopen

Edit: 5/3 Interested in following the status of the remaining Randall’s in Houston, then consider following Houston Historic Retail on Facebook or subscribe via email for updates! Welcome back to Houston Historic Retail, for another Retail News brief! This week we have some bad news for Randall’s fans and some good news for bulk shoppers on the West Side. Randall’s in Sugar Land prepares to close The headline this week is the announcement that Albertsons plans to shut their Randall’s location at 3346 Hwy 6 S, Sugar Land, TX 77478. The store which opened on November 14, 1982, traces its …

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Walgreens as a Family Dollar, now that’s more like it!

Walking into the store, you can see the "window space" was updated, rather than covered up like most seem to do

Howdy folks and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. A little while back we took a look at a Walgreens that’s now stunting as a Dollar Tree. Based on your reactions, and overall view counts, we didn’t like it. So this week we’re instead trying out another former Walgreens. This time under the other side of the “Dollar Family Tree”. This Missouri City Walgreens originally opened in 2004 at 3403 Texas Pkwy, Missouri City, TX 77489. A nice-looking freestanding location it was not actually brand new, but instead, a replacement for a shopping center-based location after Randall’s left Missouri City …

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A Spec’s in a former Randall’s? Robert Onstead must be rolling in his grave!

From far away this doesn't look much like a Randall's anymore, but the closer you get...

Howdy, and welcome back to HHR! Today we’re taking a look at one of the most scandalous grocery store conversions to take place. This former Randall’s has been divided into thirds, with Aldi, Planet Fitness, and Spec’s splitting up the building. The store at 3126 FM 528 Rd, Friendswood, TX 77546, opened as part of Randall’s 80s push. Which brought stores from the Westside back down to South Houston, where Robert Onstead had been introduced to both the grocery business and the Randall’s name nearly 40 years prior. However, that’s a story for another day. This new location was one …

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Retail News: North Oaks Mall loses Half Price Books, but we gain Gordon Food Service stores in Houston

The Half Price Books in North Oaks Mall, about a month ago

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we have a brief news check-in! North Oaks Mall loses Half Price books, but re-signs Big Lots North Oaks Mall was recently put up for auction by the property owners. The former mall, now a shopping center, once housed interior corridors, and a larger number of shops. These days however, the tenant list is dwindling as more and more make their exit from North Oaks. With the impending sale of the shopping center, Half Price Books opted not to renew their lease, citing rising rent prices as their determining factor. …

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Retail News: Thompson’s Antique Center permanently closes, after new location falls through

A grand building designed to look like a ranch house, it's actually a full sized store and warehouse all in one

Welcome back to Houston Historic Retail folks, today we have some very sad news and a photo dump of a very odd store. It Looks like the final end is in sight for Thompson’s Antique Center and no unfortunately this is not an April Fools joke. After their surprise going out of business sale last December, things looked up for the antique mall. A new location had been announced via Facebook, the former Louis Shank’s store at 2800 Fondren would provide ample space to house the large ranks of vendors the former JCPenney was able to fit. Over the next …

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Rising water might scare Walgreens, but Dollar Tree doesn’t seem to mind

The signage looks a bit off.. I don't know how to explain it, maybe off centered?

Howdy folks, and welcome back to HHR! Today, we’re heading back to a familiar topic: drugstores in Houston. Recently we took a look at a couple of “Speckerd’s” locations, and a Walgreens now selling Skechers. However, today’s former pharmacy falls into a slightly different category. This is a Walgreens that didn’t just close without a replacement, but rather this store relocated nearby. While I don’t have anything to explicitly back this up, the proximity to White Oak Bayou is likely part of what inspired Walgreens to move further away from the waterway. Despite this obvious risk, another retailer has decided …

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Fuddruckers goes Krogering, Trying out Kroger’s new ghost kitchen

The Kitchen United store front took up far more space than I thought it would.

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! When I started out this blog, I had one intention, I wanted to cover retail-focused content about my fair Bayou-City. This blog actually started all the way back in 2015. One thing I never had intentions of doing was becoming a food critic. I don’t have the palate or the expressive vocabulary needed to accomplish this I like fast food and small words. That being said, today we’re doing a restaurant review well sort of, I’d struggle to call today’s topic a true restaurant as it’s not even in the name. …

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Retail News: Circle K Quietly disposes of 4 Houston locations to newcomer Prime Spot

Strange things are afoot at a few Houston area Circle K locations as they begin to rebrand as Prime Spot. The brand is a new one, with their operations mainly consisting of wholesaling fuel prior to this point. Circle K made its reentry into Houston during a 2018 conversion spree, after purchasing the CornerStore chain of C-Stores in 2016, which had recently been spun off by Valero. Many of these Corner Store locations came from Diamond Shamrock’s acquisition of Stop n Go, with a good number of stores dating back to the 1970s as various independents. While some of these …

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