For those in the know of Speedway, the Houston area isn’t a market you’d expect to find the chain in. Even after an aggressive expansion campaign that landed the chain with a handful of stores in and around El Paso, H-Town is far from Speedway’s turf. The reason for the location of the store is due to the previous parent company of Speedway, Marathon Oil. The first Speedway to be built in Texas actually dates all the way back to the previous Melinium, yes 1999. When Speedway opened its first location outside of the Midwest, a Travel Center conveniently located …Keep reading
Raceway to 7-Eleven the saga continues
Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today, we’re taking another look at what has become the agonizingly slow transformation of Houston’s Raceway stations in 7-Eleven stores. In early 2021 the Raceway/Racetrac affiliation in Houston came to an abrupt end after over 25 years. Initially, the first stores opened were company-owned Racetrac locations. These gas stations specialized in discount private label gasoline, supplemented by streamlined C-Store operations. With locations featuring a small Made to Order grill, in addition to what would be classified as the bare essentials to be considered a C-Store. Prices of C-Store items were not …Keep reading
Stripes begin to fade as the 7-Eleven conversions push on
Howdy folks, let’s get started today by a simple recap of how 7-Eleven entered Houston (the second time). After exiting in the 1980s & 1990s, Houston was notably absent of most chain gas stations, including 7-Eleven and Circle K. Throughout the next 25 years this would be the norm, until 7-Eleven began exploring our town around 2012, with their purchase of Tetco and Speedy Stop locations, around the metropolitan area but not within city limits. Although they retained their original branding for a while, these were some of the first stores to reopen as 7-Eleven around 2015. A year later, …Keep reading
A journey through Buc-ee’s turbulent youth
A quick aside before we begin today’s post. There was an excellent online review I read a while back that somewhat inspired me to write this post. It taxonomized Buc-ee’s locations by size, giving two examples “Baby Beaver” to describe the original stores in Lake Jackson, and Adolescent stores to describe ones like the store off 290 on Muschkee Road. For this post, I propose adding a few more classifications to the taxonomy. A “Papa Beaver” store as the original “small” Travel Centers eg: Luling, and the “Grandaddy Beaver” stores, the Mega Travel Centers like New Braunfels. What’s your earliest …Keep reading
Permit Roundup: New Retail Spaces Appear Throughout Town, Multiple Remodels, and New Restaurants
Welcome back to our second Permit Roundup, this week our post is a bit shorter than last week. It seems similarly to Demolitions Reports, the Residential/Commercial balance changes from week to week, again with an emphasis on the residential permits. Also, if you didn’t read it in yesterday’s demolition post, my server is running very slowly at the moment, but I am in the process of updating, so please bear with me in the meantime. Regents Square, is an in progress mixed-used development with the unique goal of “Creat[ing] Houston’s premier mixed-use development and its first truly pedestrian-oriented city district.” …Keep reading
7-Eleven has finally hit the end of the Raceway!
If you’re a regular follower at all of Houston Historic Retail then at some point you’ve seen our coverage of 7-Eleven’s return to Houston which at some point has been a bit contentious. It all started with a post back in February of 2020 when there was scant evidence of 7-Eleven’s return, which had been in progress since 2014! However, by early 2021 7-Eleven had made great strides in not only converting existing locations but in building their own locations as well as noted in a post from January of this year. Another great stride has been reached with the …Keep reading
Permit Roundup: 7-Eleven lands in Katy, Indoor Paintball in Spring Branch, and Speculation on Washington Ave.
Howdy folks and welcome to… what I’m hoping may become a somewhat regular feature here on Houston Historic Retail. This is what I’m calling a Permit Roundup, the majority of my information for this post is based on permits that have been filed with the City of Houston. The point of this is to provide one of the earliest possible looks at up and coming retail development throughout the Houston area, somewhat in the vein of what the late great Swamplot did. This is still something I’m trying out, so let me know what you think in the comments! Corporate …Keep reading
Through the Annals: A Guide to Retail History in Annual Reports
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 …Keep reading
Random Retail: 4 Gas Stations, and Quite a bit more!
Welcome back to another post loyal reader! Oh man, it’s really been a while since we’ve done a Random Retail post. For anyone new here, Random Retail is essentially me going through my camera roll and posting anything I had a chance to take a photo of but have not had a chance to post. This quite often proves to be a reader favorite since, you never know what you’ll end up with! Well lets go ahead and dive in! Well folks, it’s been a fun one this week. I hope you enjoyed the excess of photos, stay tuned and …Keep reading
Sunoco’s attempt at earning their Stripes
In this fast-paced world of corporate acquisitions it sometimes gets confusing as to who owns what. Family owned concerns are getting harder to find as time goes on, often selling to firms promising an investment that never comes. Stripes was no stranger to all this confusion, having gone from arguably the strongest independent chain in Texas to a subsidiary of 7-Eleven in the short span of only 3 years. Stripes started out as a family owned company in Corpus Christi in 1938, with the actual Stripes we know and love debuting in 2006. It would quickly grow a fan base …Keep reading