Category: Department Stores

Weingarten Realty’s Annual Reports, a look into our not so distant retail past

Howdy folks, how many times have you encountered the word “Weingarten” in your life. If you’re a native Houstonian, then you probably know the name, to say the least. Houstonians of a certain era, will obviously remember the J. Weingarten grocery store chain. One of Houston’s first true supermarkets, starting out in the 1930s, Weingartens experienced an explosive growth post World War II. The family, who had initially only built freestanding grocery stores, quickly jumped on the property development bandwagon. By the 1960s the Weingarten Realty Corp was operating grocery stores in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, along with the shopping …

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Safeway, Walgreens, and Kmart One of West Houston’s best preserved shopping centers

Howdy folks, and welcome back! It should be no secret by now, that I have a bit of an obsession with Safeway/AppleTree. While I don’t really remember Safeway’s presence in Houston, I do have lots of distinct memories of AppleTree. In learning about AppleTree, I’ve also learned lots about Safeway. One fact, I didn’t originally know, was that most Safeways in Houston were built with an adjacent Eckerd location. It seems that the deal allowed Safeway to have a strong smaller tenant as a guaranteed neighbor, and as a bonus early Safeway locations weren’t built with pharmacies, so Eckerd would …

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Sears Marcoplaza Mall location, reopens as a Hometown Store!

Howdy folks! Welcome to a Retail News update, I never thought I’d write about, a Sears reopening. Granted, as stated in the headline it is as a Hometown Store, this is still big news! For those not in the know, the Sears at Marcoplaza Mall, closed in 2021. Leaving the Houston area without a mainline Sears presence for the first time in nearly 100 years. Sadly, I was unable to capture the closing, however Je of Southern Retail did document the store’s final days, and those photos will eventually come online. I first learned of the new Sears store through …

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A tiny Target Express living under off-campus housing in San Marcos

I was recently on vacation in San Marcos, and while on the trip had a chance to visit a few interesting retail outlets. One of the places I wanted to stop by was a “Target Express”. Target has since eschewed any sort of designations for their stores. Even if your local store still claims to be a “Super Target”, it’s actually just a Target with “Expanded Grocery”. However, with a miniscule square footage of 18,000, this store would absolutely fall under the Express category. While the store is technically off campus, it’s literally across the street from Texas State grounds, …

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Vintage Aerial's photos may not be stored in a Kmart Focal Photo Box, but this post will contain a link to a photo of a Kmart! (Anonymous in Houston)

Digging through the Photo Box: 1980s Houston Retail On Vintage Aerial

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Every so often, someone in the retail enthusiast community will stumble upon great sources of retail history in unlikely or hidden corners of the Internet. Loyal Houston Historic Retail readers will know that in just the last few months, we’ve managed to find a large repository of retail news videos clips at The Portal to Texas History website and we also found a large collection of retail annual reports at the Internet Archive. Friend of the HHR blog and fellow retail blogger South Texas Retail …

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Ollie's as previously discovered decided to utilize the left side of the building, which required filling in Target's former auto service bays.

Retail News: Ollie’s holds grand opening, despite hurricane

Howdy folks, welcome to another edition of Retail News, and this week we have some good news! Ollie’s Bargain Outlet was able to hold their scheduled grand opening on Wednesday, September 15th, despite Hurricane Nicholas making landfall just a day before. It seems that so far Ollie’s is a hit! Fellow retail watcher, Anonymous in Houston, noted that nearly 50 photos has been posted on Google Reviews within hours of the grand opening. I had a chance to visit this long awaited Houston branch this previous weekend and found no lack of customers, however it seems that this is a …

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This entrance is just to the left of the food court entrance shown earlier. The eyebrow-shaped awning predates McDonald's recent fascination with the aesthetic by decades.

Happy Birthday First Colony Mall, sorry we sorta forgot!

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post, written by my favorite scincidae, billytheskink, is part two in our Month of Malls! Be sure to check out Part One! -Mike March 2021 came and went, and we failed to wish First Colony Mall well on its 25th birthday!  Sincere apologies for this egregious oversight.  Hopefully this belated happy birthday post full of photos and reminiscence (and also more photos!) from a Fort Bend County kid can in some small way help make up for this terrible mistake. A (kind of) Brief History Of The Mall While the mall itself opened on March 14, …

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Here's a mall entrance in between the Sears anchor and the old Montgomery Ward. The Forever 21 is where the old Luby's Cafeteria once was. In fact, the greenhouse you can faintly see off to the right by the tree was once part of the dining room. (Photo courtesy of Mike/HHR)

Happy 40th Anniversary, Willowbrook Mall!

Editor’s Note: Today we begin Houston Historic Retail’s Month of Malls! Our 3 Wednesday posts will feature all new Mall content! Lets start off Part One with Northwestern Houston Resident Expert Anonymous in Houston! -Mike Those who have visited the Willowbrook Mall area in Northwest Houston know that several words can be used to describe the territory, but ‘sleepy’ is probably not one of them in current times.  However, prior to the official opening of Willowbrook Mall on September 23, 1981 (though the original three anchors of Sears, Foley’s, and Montgomery Ward had all opened for business by September 2, …

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The former Landmark Chevrolet Truck Sales area is likely where a new Food Truck park will end up. Photo Credit: meltedplastic

Permit Roundup: Sugar Factory Express is coming to Houston, and Memorial City Target remodels

Howdy Folks, I hope Monday is treating you well so far! As far as new permits go this week, we’re not seeing too much but what we do have is yummy, so we’ll start with the new end with the old. Sugar Factory Express has filed a demolition permit for the space they’re moving into in Galleria I. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably never heard of Sugar Factory, much less their Express variant. So let’s talk a moment how this place ended up in the title this week. Sugar Factory seems to be an experiment in excess, it’s …

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This Carl's Jr. location closed along with all other in Houston in early 2020.

Permit Roundup: A new Raising Canes, a converted Dunkin’ Donuts, and a few others

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to another permit roundup! Last week, we unfortunately had to skip our permit roundup due to lack of content! So let’s start off with the only permit I really did skip over last week. 7-Eleven had filed building plans at 10670 W Little York Rd, Houston, TX 77041, which would put it opposite Beltway 8 from a Valero/Circle K. Moving onto this week, let’s start off with another new built structure. This one is a Raising Canes location which is coming to 13480 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77040. The spot was previously occupied by Taco …

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