Category: Department Stores

Return to Almeda Mall to see Toys R Us

Even Macy's was super busy, except for the Toys R Us department

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re heading back to Almeda Mall, where I haven’t been in a few years. Long-time readers of the blog may remember that HHR’s first “big success” was the Chron republishing some of my photos of Northwest Mall after it had closed. On the advice of readers and my own curiosity, I quickly ventured to Almeda Mall afterward. While I knew the malls were identical twins, this was my first visit to Almeda. Checking out the mall, I was shocked at how similar they were. I knew that Almeda had a …

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Halloween Costume Conversions 2022: Featuring Randall’s, Sears, and More!

Boo! And welcome to Houston Historic Retail! Today, we’re celebrating Halloween by checking out four costume conversions in what is HHR’s longest-running theme post dating back to 2018. Man, I was really playing to an empty room back then, but thankfully my fan base has grown substantially there are dozens of you now! Ever since the 2019 debut of Costume Conversions, the series has always been a favorite of mine. It’s always fun to get back into a dead retailer and see what got left behind. This year, we have the privilege of visiting a chain never seen as a …

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Retail News: Ollie’s Bargain Outlet opens in Katy on October 26th

The newest Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in the Houston area is scheduled to open this Wednesday, October 26th. The new store, located at 1747 N Fry Rd, Katy, TX 77449, takes the place of a former Stein Mart and will be the second Ollie’s on Houston’s westside and the third overall in the area. The replacement of Stein Mart with Ollie’s sees a return to full tenancy for The Crossing at Fry, which has suffered with vacancies, such as Kroger in 2016. Another vacant spot in the same shopping center, a former Dry Cleaning Shop, will soon play host to Voodoo …

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Part 1: Auchan comes to Texas and brings a Mall

Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a three-part series, be sure to check out Part 2 and Part 3 as well! Bonjour folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we begin part one of a three-part series on Auchan! Why now you ask? Well tomorrow is the 34th anniversary of Auchan Day as declared by Mayor Kathy Whitmire in 1988! For those not in the know, Auchan is a family-owned French company that operates Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, and Hypermarkets all throughout the world. While Sam Walton would be the first to introduce true Hypermarkets to Texas and, …

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Katy Mills Walmart goes on an fulfillment diet!

To the right you can see what may likely be a new drive-up grocery pickup station

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re taking a look at a new phenomenon in retail, a ‘hybrid store.’ This Wal-Mart at 25108 Market Place Drive in Katy, originally opened around 2000, is a beast of a store. A true Hypermarket, coming in at over 200,000 square feet. The store was typical in terms of size, selection, and layout when it was constructed. However, within the past ten or so years, new Super Center locations have shrunk back down closer to 100,000 Square Feet. While many of the mega stores outside of the Houston area were …

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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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