Category: Department Stores

Random Retail: 9 Years Ago, Downtown Foley’s was demolished & Inside Battelstein’s!

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. We’ve got a light post today, as I’m working on a much bigger upcoming project that I hope you’ll all enjoy! As part of this post, I’ve had to do some research into downtown department stores. Let’s start off with Battelstein’s, if you’re like me, this is a store you’ve heard about but not one you ever visited. Battelstein’s started off, like most other department stores in Houston, as a dry goods concern sometime around the 1920s or 30s. Just like Foley’s, and Sakowitz’s, Battelstein’s too would make eventually morph into a modern …

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Retail News: Sears at Willowbrook Mall’s last gasp!

Sears Hometown Store at Willowbrook Mall is having its last gasp this upcoming week. While store employees could not provide a final date, they said this week would likely be it for them, as the store slowly runs out of stock. What little remained in the store largely consisted of fixtures and merchandise that had been purchased but yet to be picked up. Many of the items in the store had been shipped in from other locations, including stock labeled for Kmart. The gate to the mall sits shut now, no longer providing the best parking spot to entrance ratio. …

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Former Venture/Kmart preserved as Viet Hoa for over 20 years!

However the old Venture Facade still pops up above

Howdy, or Xin Chao, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re visiting a Vietnamese Grocer in a nearly perfectly preserved former Venture/Kmart. In July 1995, the building at 8300 W Sam Houston Pkwy S, Houston, TX 77072 would open as Venture Store #141. Making it one of the last Texas locations and the final planned Houston area store. Although Sugar Land would open a few months later, plans for that store came first. Just days prior to the grand opening, Venture had announced a repositioning of the company to be more value-oriented and drop their higher-end merchandise. For …

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Random Retail: An old Spaghetti Warehouse Reappears, Kmart Foods Depot, and Hartz’s Neon Extravaganza

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston HIstoric Retail! Today we’ll be taking a break from the norm for some Random Retail! In case you’re new here, not every photo I take is part of a post. However, I visit lots of places I visit are worth sharing but not enough to cover on their own. So today, we’re checking out a former Kmart turned Restuanrat Depot, a former Spaghetti Warehouse showing off its old colors, and finally ‘celebrating’ the return of Hartz’s buffet! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, or tense up and lay flat… I don’t …

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Retail News: Burlington moving into two former Best Buy locations

Your best buys are always at Burlington, may not be the new slogan painted above the door, but it would be apt. Off-price retailer Burlington (Coat Factory) has recently made moves on two former Best Buy properties in the Houston area. The stores at 13238 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77040 and 24230 Commercial Dr. Rosenberg, TX 77470 closed in 2021 and 2022, respectively, both part of a larger restructuring Best Buy has undertaken over the past two years. The 290 location is likely meant to make up for the closure of a longstanding location at 12005 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX …

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Sears Willowbrook Mall Experiment is Closing

The Sears Hometown located inside of Willowbrook Mall has started the closing process for their store a short six months after opening. The scheme was a way to put former Sears Mall buildings and a few former Kmarts to use as prospective tenants for this former mainline store, which closed in 2020, failed to step up. The closure was first reported to HHR by regular contributor Anonymous in Houston, who noticed a Google Review stating the store was closing. This rumor was confirmed by visiting the store and finding the yellow closing/clearance tags attached to all products. The closing does …

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A Look Back at Houston Jewelry, Houston’s Own Catalog Showroom Store

This large sign greeted Houston Jewelry shoppers at their catalog showroom at 9633 Westheimer. (Photo: Houston Jewelry's Facebook Page)

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Usually when Mike or I start researching a potential blog post here at Houston Historic Retail, we have to dig deep into historical archives to find useful historical information to present here on the blog. This blog post is quite unique in that the subject, Houston Jewelry & Distributing, is a company which has embraced their history and they have made a significant amount of their history available for the public to view online. Our readers in Houston might recognize the name Houston Jewelry and …

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Sears Willowbrook fills out their space, and how did it end up a Hometown any way?

Howdy, folks, and welcome to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re back at everyone’s least favorite stomping grounds… Zombie Sears! With the recent closure of failed Pasadena Hometown Sears Conversion still looming over its head, things look somewhat bleak for a company that continues to close stores only months after opening. Despite all the tears shed for other locations of a retailer, which probably could have survived had they not “merged” with Kmart back in 2005. Let’s take a look back at one of the last real good ideas from before the merger, the Sears Grand concept. While Sears had started …

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Retail News: Ollie’s Bargain Outlet starts to emerge in Friendswood

Deep Discounter, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet first laid its eyes on the Texas market in 2018 with the opening of a distribution center. The next few years saw Ollie’s popping up mostly in former Toys ‘R Us locations throughout the country, a few in Texas. By early 2021, the retailer had already opened a branch in Clute and was starting work on their first location in Houston. The Jones Road Ollie’s would open in November of last year to a warm, somewhat quiet reception. The new store is receiving a bit more attention thanks to its prominent location in a former …

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Vintage Ads: Finding Bargains at North Oaks Mall and Elsewhere in 1989

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Longtime readers here at Houston Historic Retail might remember our Vintage Ads series of posts. It’s been a while since we’ve posted a new Vintage Ads post so it seems like a good time to make a new installment in the series. This installment of the series will look at retail ads from the August 16, 1989 issue of the Houston Chronicle. The thumbnail images included in the post might be too small to read, but simply click on the links below the images to …

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