Category: Random Retail

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

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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Taking a trip to Grocery Stores of the Past (Part 1)

Editor’s note: In lieu of an April Fools prank this week’s post comes to us as a guest submission from commenter Anonymous in Houston. I’ll be back Sunday with the demo post -Mike! The Portal to Texas History website operated by the University of North Texas Libraries offers a tremendous database of primary historical resources including videos, newspapers, photographs, and more. While there is a lot at the Portal which might be relevant for those interested in retail history, I’ve found the videos at the Portal to be especially illuminating. Specifically, news clips from KXAS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Fort …

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This location started off simply enough as a mid 2000s suburbans Walgreens. When adding the Village Medical the store got a full facelift.

Walgreens and Village Medical a match made in Houston

Did you know over the past year, Walgreens has been using Houston as a test market for a new store type? The announcements for the new stores were quiet, but the concept has made a huge impact. Growing up in and around Houston, most folks were very familiar with their neighborhood drug stores. In some neighborhoods it’s one of the closest options to a grocery store, and sometimes the only option. Even out in the suburbs where my family lived Walgreens was the closest thing we had to a store within walking distance. It proved to be a great asset …

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The Randall's sign is down, and the liquidation banner is up.

Retail News: Raceway speeds out and 7-11 Zooms In, Luby’s puts locations up for sale, & Randalls leaves Bellaire

Happy chilly Friday to you loyal readers! I hope you are all doing well and managing to stay warm, as power comes back on around the state. This post is coming a bit late due to technical difficulties between myself and the power grid, but I don’t need to tell you about that. So far in February we’ve had a decent amount of retail proceedings develop. First off what seems to have been a quiet deal between RaceTrac and Realty Income Corp. has left us with no more Raceway gas stations but has netted us some new 7-Eleven locations. Which …

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When Fiesta failed to “Re-brand” Bravo Ranch

Fiesta Mart is one of the larger grocers in Houston with over 30 stores throughout the metropolitan area. They have been able to capture a niche market generally undeserved by more traditional retailers, specifically customers with foreign roots. This is far from accidental as the idea for Fiesta came from a Houston man who had experience managing grocery stores in South America. As the company grew and expanded the product mix shifted to cover multiple international communities who had a large presence in Houston. Some of Fiesta’s larger stores offer a shopping experience somewhat on par with a Kroger Marketplace …

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Had to get a shot of the pumps with the store.

7-Eleven is starting to get in the swing of things

Today we’re dropping in on a brand new convenience store! The last time we discussed 7-Eleven on the blog we found that progress on new stores in the Houston area was extremely slow. It all started in 2013 when the company acquired four Tetco stores to convert to 7-Eleven locations. By 2014 these locations would be had their names and signs changed and were carrying 7-Eleven branded products. It seemed like things were on track for future conversions, however this was the only progress that would be made for several years. In 2018 Stripes and Laredo Taco Co. were both …

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A second generation Krispy Kreme which closed in early 2021.

Retail News: Krispy Kreme Closes, My Fit Foods Returns, and the Montrose shakeup continues

Have a retail tip you want to share? Houston Historic Retail now has a Twitter Account! @RetailHouston Krispy Kreme Closes in Pasadena Krispy Kreme in Pasadena has turned from temporarily to permanently closed. Signs have been removed from the store and broken up. Outside of large chunks of plastic signage behind the store everything else was intact. It’s possible Krispy Kreme may try to find a new franchisee for this location. However, given the fact that expansion has been quite slow it also could be that Krispy Kreme is having trouble in our market. The first attempt at Krispy Kreme …

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