Category: Random Retail

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

Walking back around to the front of the store I found the entrance contained a small addition. This was likely added by the store based off of the cart door on the side. I had a good idea what store this had been by this point.

What was Ashcraft European Bakery?

I was driving through Stafford the other day for an upcoming post, and happened upon a building I didn’t recognize. Generally when I drive around I have a nice mental GPS going, if you will. I can envision what buildings, landmarks, etc.. are coming up and surrounding me. Not an extraordinary feature by any stretch of the imagination but as you can assume retail enthusiasts’ mental GPS’s have far more information related to buildings and landmarks than most other folks around us. That’s why I felt very caught off guard when I saw the Ashcraft European Bakery building. For many …

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Kmart Electronics Alcove, 1987

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 …

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Retail News: Bowling closer to returning to former Palace Lanes, and Taco Bueno is back in Pasadena

Taco Bueno takes over for Krispy Kreme in Pasadena Good Monday to you morning loyal reader! Let’s start off this week off with another edition of Retail News. This first story comes to us from a reader’s tip. Good news to fans of Taco Bueno, if any, because the casual Tex-Mex drive-thru chain is expanding their Houston range even further. Some readers may remember Taco Bueno’s earlier presence in the Houston area which lasted from the 1970s-1980s fondly. While reporting on Taco Bueno’s return to Houston I found the food to be somewhat appetizing, but for the most part rather …

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Continuing in the area former Midtown Fiesta continues to sit empty, although renovation is supposedly nearly complete.

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 …

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Decoding some of the most famous photos of 1980s Wal-Mart on the net!

Welcome back loyal reader, I apologize for the somewhat clickbaity sounding title this time. However, I promise I have not made any false claims! Let’s start out with a trip down memory lane. A recent conversation with a friend on the topic of early retail history on the net, led me to a site I hadn’t visited in a few years. Pleasant Family Shopping. By multiple accounts this is one of the earliest “pure retail” blogs or websites to gain fame. While other sites did feature malls, they were often focused around those in poor condition like Dead Malls.com (yes …

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One of the first hints that something is up with this store is the small, off center facade. Generally Eckerd had very symmetrical buildings.

CVS abandons an Eckerd’s concept

Welcome back loyal reader in this week’s post we’re talking about a CVS location that started out life as Eckerd. Most Houstonians can recall when Eckerd went away and CVS debuted in Houston. Many within our fair city thought that this was a long planned transition and a national phasing out of the chain. It at least seemed that way from the customer point of view. Based on the statements CVS was making it seemed that Eckerd was set to disappear from the entire country the reality was that CVS had only acquired Eckerd in certain states. Specifically in states …

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Retail News: Costco’s new Business Center doesn’t quite fit in ‘The Grid’ and My Fit Foods officially returns in Houston

Costco’s Business Center doesn’t quite snap into place in Stafford’s Grid If you’ve been paying attention to any local business news lately you know that Houston’s hottest new mixed-use development “The Grid“, has turned slightly more commercial with the announcement a new Costco location. The Grid was originally envisioned as a mixed used center with a focus on mostly entertainment and multi-family housing. The only retail in the center were some small shops, and a fair number of restaurants. Plans called for a Movie Theater (Cinépolis) and driving range (Drive Shack) to open around the of 2019 to beginning of …

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The soda signage is by far my favorite. The blue tinge on the Coke cans put this photo after the New Coke Scandal, but the Caffeine Free Pepsi means this is likely from the 80s

A 90s Texaco Star Mart trapped inside of a 2021 Exxon

I was recently on my way home from work when I noticed my car was almost completely out of gas. I’m usually pretty good about filling up, but hadn’t driven in a while and needed to quickly refill my tank. It was pouring down rain, and I was not on a major road, so I found the nearest gas station I could and quickly stopped. While filling up my tank I noticed an unusual sign on the door of the gas station. It was advertising a line of sodas known as “Exotic Pop”. If you’re not familiar with Exotic Pop, …

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https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth58895/m1/1/

Taking a shopping trip to stores of the Past (Part 2)

Editors note: This is a guest post by commenter Anonymous in Houston. Be sure to check out Part 1 here. Welcome back folks! Today we’re finishing up the second part of our journey through The Portal to Texas History. As mentioned in the previous post the portal is a website operated by the UNT Libraries. As the school is in Denton, the majority of material is from DFW. However we have a great shared retail lineage with our neighbors to the North. So much in fact that with the help of Houston Historic Retail, I have compiled a Shareable Spreadsheet …

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These photos were taken after the freeze and it looks like it did a number on the palms.

All quiet at the Taco Cabana

Taco Cabana is a unique restaurant, starting in 1978 from a single location in an old Dairy Queen in San Antonio they brought they idea of Drive Through Tex-Mex across a good portion of the Southern United States. Taco Cabana was so successful early on they even experienced a few imitators by the 80s such as Two Pesos who would later be famously sued by Taco Cabana. By the 90s the family involved with founding T.C. had left the company and after going public the chain experienced enormous growth. Expanding beyond Texas into New Mexico, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and …

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