Category: Random Retail

Anything related to retail that doesn’t fit anywhere else.

Sears Willowbrook Mall Experiment is Closing

The Sears Hometown located inside of Willowbrook Mall has started the closing process for their stores 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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Retail News: Biglari is back! – The return of Steak N Shake to Houston

The great fast food hamburger debate has so many sides: loyal Texans stumping for local Whataburger, west coast transplants singing the virtues of interloping In-N-Out, those squares who like Wendy’s.  These sides have their merits, but I found my favorite fast food burger to be the midwestern-style steakburger, smashed flat with crispy edges, the cheese melted into the thin patty so completely that the two are practically an alloy.  Specifically (and with apologies to Kansas-based Freddy’s and their many Houston-area locations), I came to love the steakburgers from Illinois-founded Steak N Shake. While it has long been an institution in …

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Retail News: Best Buy Outlet plans move across 249, towards Willowbrook Mall

Huh, how'd this get in the gallery...

  Best Buy Outlet, currently located at 17713 Tomball Pkwy, Houston, TX 77064, has filed permits to remodel a former Toys ‘R Us building across Texas 249. This new space would allow the currently cramped store to expand. The Outlet store’s former space is a former Golf Galaxy location, which was once a larger part of the Venture Department store which once inhabited that block. Best Buy Outlet’s proposed move would not only net new space, but it would also put the store on the Willowbrook Mall side of the highway.   Have a retail tip you want to share? …

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So what is Miniso? Checking out the knockoff Daiso

Howdy everyone, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. If you’re new to HHR, welcome! We’re all glad to have you here. Today we’re taking a look at a new retailer on the Houston scene, Miniso. Chances are you probably haven’t heard of Miniso, it’s a fairly new company opening its first store in China in 2013. If you feel like you’ve seen the logo before, it’s “highly inspired” by the Uniqlo clothing brand. The stores are patterned after international successful Japanese Yen Shop (Dollar Store), Daiso. Let’s take a minute to explain what Daiso is; this chain hails back to …

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Retail News: The gas station in an ex-Walgreens near West Oaks Mall, finally opens! Welcome Now & Forever Plus

The gas prices here were pretty cheap compared to other stations on 6

Well, folks, the day has finally come. The former Walgreens at Westheimer and Highway 6 has reopened. This will mark the building’s first permanent retail tenant since closing as a pharmacy around 2017. Now and Forever also marks the return of a gas station to this intersection. Before the most recent expansion of Highway 6, every corner of the intersection, except the mall, hosted a gas station. This gas station, however, aims to be a bit different. The space is huge, and while some area was built out around the checkout, I would wager that 3/4 of the former Walgreens …

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Arlan’s a modern take on the Traditional Independent

Thank you for having me!

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! It’s been a while since we have done a grocery (2 weeks in fact!) store post, so make sure you’re buckled up for this one! We’re taking a deviation to the South of Houston to find out about one of Houston’s most respected independent grocers, Arlan’s Market. Now, if you’ve been around HHR for any length of time, you’ll know that overall I like independents. In the realm of the blog, I tend to focus on Food Town and Foodarama as they’re arguably the most present independent operators supermarkets in Houston, …

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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: James Coney closes final inner-loop location, and provides some thoughts on the future

James Coney Island’s final inner-loop store shut down earlier this week. The news of the closure was quiet but shouldn’t come as a huge surprise for anyone who has been following the slow death of the chain. While JCI managed to hang on past the Millennium, it seems very little has been invested in the hot dog seller over the past 20 years. With locations stagnant and sales slipping, a 2018 initiative to push the chain away from Hot Dogs began. Local chef, Matt Marcus, was brought on board to help reimagine non-hot dog menu items, and a new name …

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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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