Category: Sears

The Final Chapter of Sears in Pasadena, as Hometown Store in Pasadena Town Square Mall prepares to close

This wasn't a refront, this Sears was built like this in 1997!

Well folks, welcome to the closing chapter of a failed experiment. Sears is killing off one of their Hometowns in a Mainline store. Seemingly pulling off the opposite of “fat guy in a little coat” was not enough to justify keeping a tiny piece of the what was the final Sears in Houston open. If you’ve been following Houston Historic Retail, we’ve covered the Pasadena Town Square/Marcoplaza Mall Sears from reopening in November to a more recent check-in this Spring. While the situation did vastly improve between the two visits, the clear winner in this situation has been the Willowbrook Mall …

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Zombie Sears Pasadena Texas: All stocked up, with no one to shop

One of the nicest touches was a custom made covering for what had been the Optical Center, presumably Sears is hoping to rent this space out

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Your blogging source for all things retail in Houston! Today, we return to the Sears Hometown where these horrible conversions all started. The former Marcoplaza Mall Sears reopened as the first example of a Sears Hometown Store in a closed Mainline store only a few months ago in late 2021. At the time the store was pathetically stocked, using a bit of leftover shelving to form somewhat of a barrier. Only maybe 1/8 of the original store space was used, and there was no way to get into the mall from …

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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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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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Happy 40th Anniversary, Willowbrook Mall!

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)

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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Eye on “The Ion” an inside look at the former Midtown Sears

One of the few Sears elements left, if barely, is where the escalators (supposedly the first ever in Houston) led down to the basement floor. Rice replaced the escalators with stairs, linked by a seating area for “TED Talks” given from the basement floor.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes to us from friend of the blog, and frequent commentor, billytheskink. While he self describes as a lizard, I find his writing to be vibrant as a Macaw. As a reader of a blog about historic Houston retail, you no doubt know that Rice University’s planned renovation of the former Midtown Sears at 4201 Main St. into a hub for innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship has been well underway.  The centerpiece of what was originally dubbed as the “Midtown Innovation District”, the building is now being referred to as “The Ion” and the surrounding area (including …

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Exploring Vintage Ads: AIMing For The Best

AIM For The Best Stores

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston We aim to give you, the loyal reader, nothing but the very best content here at the Houston Historic Retail blog.  With that in mind, here is the first entry in what could well be a new series where we will explore some vintage retail ads that are interesting and perhaps even relevant to Houston retail history. I thought it would be a good idea to examine some of the ads in a newspaper issue of the past to see what interesting retail history might …

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Through the Annals: A Guide to Retail History in Annual Reports

Kmart Electronics Alcove, 1987

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Researching the operations of a publicly traded company here in the 21st century is most certainly not a very difficult thing.  After all, there are numerous reports about companies available through their own websites and through various websites that can all be accessed very quickly.  However, those who were around before the rise of the World Wide Web might remember that it was quite difficult to obtain information about companies back in the day.  One thing which could be requested from libraries or by contacting …

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