Category: Random Retail

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

Visiting the 99 Cent Only Store all these years later

It's been years since I've even stepped foot in a 99 Cent Only Store prior to this

Howdy folks, and welcome to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re visiting a new place for the blog, but a spot with a special place in my heart, the 99 Cents Only Store. Today’s location is actually a new one for me. Located at 10787 Jones Rd, Houston, TX 77065, this store space in the Steeplechase Center was originally filled by Sav-On Drugs, opening in 1982, and later Walgreens, which took over the stores when Sav-On left Houston in 1984. The location was a bit too large for Walgreens’ needs, so it was subdivided, turning a portion of the space into …

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Food Town vs. Albertsons: a Pearland grocery decor showdown

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Hisotirc Retail. Today we’re looking at an independent conversion of a former major-owned grocery store. A concept that is not unfamiliar to any longtime HHR reader. Houston still has a decent number of independents in operation. Mostly split up between Food Town, Foodarama, and El Ahorro/La Michoacana/Sellers Bros, each chain taking a unique approach to decor. Foodarama has mastered a very standardized look of replacing department signage with custom-made pieces, the store will be painted, and new graphics applied to the walls. El Ahorro, La Michoacana, Sellers Bros (and a few other brands) …

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Retail News: River Oaks Ex-KFC to house another fried chicken joint

According to permits filed recently, Layne’s Chicken Fingers appears to be headed to River Oaks. The new restaurant will rehab a former KFC located at 2359 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77019. The KFC, which closed in 2016, long enough ago that Swamplot covered it, has sat continuously vacant for nearly seven years. College Station-based Layne’s Chicken Fingers (LFC) is being franchised locally by the Houston franchisee of Halal Guys and has collocated their two Layne’s Outlets with existing Halal Guys locations. The existing locations are Cinco Ranch and the “Ella Fast Food Boulevard.” Layne’s has yet to make an …

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Arlan’s attempt in The Woodlands, a history of “Food Basket”

Editor’s Note: The photos in this post were submitted by a reader who found them during a liquidation sale of the closing Arlan’s. The original listing has since been deleted. If anyone knows who took these photos, credit will be provided. Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re taking a look at a now-closed grocery store with an interesting history. The building at 26824 I-45, Oak Ridge North, TX 77386, which most recently held an Arlan’s location, was originally built as a Clayton’s Supermarket. As some readers may remember, Clayton’s was a mostly Northside independent grocer. …

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Grocery Update: GFS Braeswood Square Opens

Gordon Food Stores, Houston’s newest grocery chain, opened another store this week—the new location at 5300 N Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77096, is located in Braeswood Square. The company opened its first four area locations back in March. GFS is a mix between a traditional grocer and a food service distributor. While they may not carry every grocery item an individual wants, larger households and small businesses can shop GFS quite easily. I visited the newest store and chatted with the manager about GFS’ entry into Houston. One of the first things I was curious about was the lack of …

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HEB Clear Lake, sitting closed and empty!

Editor’s Note: Today is this blog’s eighth birthday and the week of my own birthday! If you like HHR you can easily help keep me going in one of two ways. First, please consider following, liking, and sharing my content on Facebook. Social media is not something I use excessively, but it helps bring new readers, especially those interested in local history. Second, please consider donating to HHR. I don’t run ads, have a corporate sponsor, or anything like that. This setup runs at a monetary loss because I have the desire to keep documenting this history. However, growing readership …

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Retail News: Houston’s first Shoppers World opens June 8th

Shoppers World will open its first Houston location on June 8th, according to the Houston Business Journal.  The store at 10701 Jones Rd, Houston, TX 77065, will complete the reconfiguration of the former Target in Steeplechase Plaza. The building was vacated in 2006 when Target, which built the structure, moved to a larger location along FM 1960. The first portion to be redeveloped was the right third of the building, which was renovated as a Planet Fitness in 2012. The gym would move out, relocating further down Jones Road in 2018, leaving the space completely vacant again. Until Ollie’s Bargain …

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Baby Buc-ee’s Another Taxonomy for Texas finest C-Stores

Howdy folks, and welcome to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re looking at a “Baby Beaver Buc-ee’s.” The Buc-ee’s Taxonomy splits the classification of stores by size and actually doesn’t originate on HHR. Most people who know Buc-ee’s know them for their massive travel center stores, which have gone nationwide in the past few years. However, this isn’t how Buc-ee’s got their start. Readers closer to the Gulf Coast, may remember the earliest incarnations of Buc-ee’s from the 80s and 90s. A handful of stores throughout Lake Jackson and Freeport some purchased from competitors by ‘Beaver’ Aplin. Early on, little set …

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Why Fuddruckers days may be numbered

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re taking time for a sad topic, the slow and agonizing death of Fuddruckers. The downfall of Fudds is not new content here on HHR. My first hint that something was seriously wrong at the chain goes all the way back to 2018 and the failure of the chain to re-franchise a popular West Houston location before shutting it down. My naivety of the conditions of Luby’s Fuddruckers at the time led me to believe that Fudd’s may have stood a chance if they could pare down locations and focus …

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Retail News: Target proposed for Heights area residential tower

A rendering of the proposed mixed used tower. Source:

A block in the Heights at W. 26th between Durham and N. Shepherd is currently undergoing the planning stages of redevelopment. At the end of 2022, WGS Retail Investments announced plans to redevelop the existing business on this land. Their plan involves demolishing the industrial sheds and former homes that had all turned to retail use by the 21st century. The plan as it stands now is to construct a low-rise 8-story residential tower, with retail making up the ground floor. While Target has yet to make an official statement, all proposals from the developer include Target in their plans. …

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