Category: Department Stores

Sears Willowbrook, Grand Opening Weekend! The latest on Fast Eddie’s Sears schemes

If the actual Sears Hometown store is in the back of the building, how does one use the mall entrance to get to the store? Well, this is something that has to be seen to believe! Yes, Sears used tarps and old fixtures to create a hallway leading shoppers to the Sears Hometown store without allowing them to wander into the closed parts of the building! The blue light clearly turned on in someone's mind! That's not just smart, that's Kmart...err...Sears smart!

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re going to revisit the Willowbrook Sears location which you might have seen earlier at HHR in this post about the history of Willowbrook Mall or in this post about the Spirit Halloween store that opened in the Willowbrook Sears after it closed in 2020. Je of the Louisiana & Texas Retail Blog also has some photos of this Sears back when it was open in 2017-18. This Sears location was the second Houston-area mainline Sears to partially reopen as a Hometown Store after a similar stunt was pulled in …

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What going on at West Oaks Mall in 2022? A slow death examined

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re returning to West Oaks Mall, a location that holds a space near and dear in my heart as “my mall” during my teenage years. Anyone living in Houston for more than a bit knows that West Oaks is a riches to rags story. Starting off as an ambitious high-end shopping mall, serving a predicted luxury clientele that never really developed in this part of Houston. The mall was able to reinvent itself multiple times, adjusting to fit the changes this side of Houston felt. West Oaks has seemingly hit …

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Vintage Texas Retail Videos in 1080p from the Jones Film Collection

Kroger Superstore Produce Department, 1977 (Image sourced from WFAA-TV/SMU Jones Film Collection, April 7, 1977)

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Those who have been reading Houston Historic Retail for some period of time know that I did a two-part series (Part I and II) in early 2021 about the excellent retail videos available at The Portal of Texas History website operated by the University of North Texas Library. Most of the videos at The Portal were supplied by Dallas-Fort Worth TV station KXAS-TV. Well, another Dallas Metroplex university library, the Southern Methodist University Library, also has a collection of videos in their G. William Jones …

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Macy’s San Jacinto Mall location prepares to close by March for demolition of closed mall

Howdy readers, I have some sad, but not unexpected news today. The end is finally in sight for San Jacinto Mall. While this is a sad day for mall lovers everywhere, this has also been a long time coming, and almost everyone would agree that the property should be redeveloped rather than left to sit in the state it currently does. Originally envisioned back in 1978 by Paul Broadhead & Associates, a mall development company based out of Meridian, Mississippi. Broadhead had already made his mark on malls in Texas during the last decade. Originally getting his start in 1966, …

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This former TJ Maxx was once Jumbo!

However, on the inside it's straight TJ Maxx.

Howdy Folks, and welcome back! This time we’re talking about a store I don’t know that well. Jumbo Markets is a grocery store that only comes up on occasion in Houston retail history. They were a very small chain, so most people who remember them, either lived or spent time around one of their stores. Only making it to six stores over a time period of about 13 years, Jumbo had lots of missteps in Houston. The average “store life” for the chain was only about 5 years, except for their “Flagship” 10250 Westheimer location that stayed open continuously, as …

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You got me Vintage Houston Commercials for Christmas? How Remarkable!

Merry Christmas Eve y’all I hope this post finds you well on this unseasonably warm morning. Although not unwelcome by folks like me, who prefer to stay out of the cold. To mark the special occasion, we’re taking a look at some presents left by an Anonymous visitor, though not necessarily through the chimney. While I’ll leave the joy of “opening” these presents until you read the post, I will note that what we’re taking a look at today are all vintage Houston commercials that ran from the mid 80s to early 90s. Sign-On You wake up early, too early. …

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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 January 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 …

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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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