You got me Vintage Houston Commercials for Christmas? How Remarkable!

Merry Christmas Eve y’all I hope this post finds you well on this unseasonably warm morning. Although not unwelcome by folks like me, who prefer to stay out of the cold. To mark the special occasion, we’re taking a look at some presents left by an Anonymous visitor, though not necessarily through the chimney. While I’ll leave the joy of “opening” these presents until you read the post, I will note that what we’re taking a look at today are all vintage Houston commercials that ran from the mid 80s to early 90s. Sign-On You wake up early, too early. …

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Thompson’s Antique Center to close doors, leaving Northwest Mall with no retailers by 2022

Greetings readers, I have some sad news for you as we approach the end of the year. Northwest Mall’s final retail tenant, Thompson’s Antique Center, is set to close their doors for the last time December 31st. The shutdown comes with little notice to the public, and a similarly small amount of heads up for vendors. After speaking with one vendor at the antique center, they supposedly received only about a month’s worth of notice. The space occupied by the antique center is as of 2021 the only retailer still operating out of what was once Northwest Mall. While a …

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Retail News: Remarkable! Randalls Returns to Card Free Savings

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Here’s some recent retail news that I found to be quite remarkable! For the first time in almost exactly 25 years, Randalls shoppers no longer need to have a Randalls Remarkable Card, or the Safeway Club Card equivalent, to get most sale prices. I was recently reading some new posts at the Retail Watchers forum recently when I came across a post from someone indicating that their Randalls store in Austin was advertising that the card was no longer necessary to get sale prices. After …

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A “Sketchy” former Walgreens, where you can only get shoes!

On the exterior not much has changed. It's nice to see the Walgreen's Window Box being reused

Howdy folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today we’re again tackling our overcrowding of drug stores, a topic we’ve covered once before, and will come up again in a second part. However, today we’re not checking out an Eckerd but rather a Walgreens! As mentioned previously, Walgreen’s building campaign really began as a response to the entry of CVS into the Houston market. Both Walgreens and Eckerd had steady growth in Houston during 90s and early 2000s, expanding to match new neighborhoods. As well, older strip center locations were replaced with freestanding stores capable of providing drive-thru pharmacy services. One …

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Demolition Update: Game over for Garden Oaks Family Bingo, and the strange former Kroger it occupied

Howdy folks, and welcome back to a Demolition Update (This is not a full Demolition List, as that is still on hiatus due to lack of time). Today we’re taking a look at what was, up until a few months ago, the premiere Bingo Hall in Garden Oaks. Unfortunately, it seems that this former supermarket is about to meet the fate of a good number of the area’s original homes. Sitting at 641 W Crosstimbers St, Houston, TX 77018, the structure was built in 1974 by the Kroger Company. This was not Kroger’s first store in the Garden Oaks area, …

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Taco Casa: Fast Food the way your parents remember it!

The giant windows had advertisements that were not visible from the interior

Fast food is engrained in our culture, and its prevalence has led to a specific way of doing things. But do you remember a time before combo meals? A time when you couldn’t refill your own drinks? A time when neon and Earth tones were considered complimentary colors? Chances are you do, or if not you live vicariously through online reminiscence. If you’re yearning to relive those days then Taco Casa is for you. It evokes a time before fast food over expanded and the resultant quality drop. Taco Casa first debuted in Fort Worth in 1972, and has slowly …

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Clear Lake’s HEB in the old Albertsons finally meets it end!

Clear Lake as a city has an interesting history, the 30,000 acres were pieced together by a wealthy businessman to build a ranch on. However, by 1938 the ranch would be sold to Humble Oil company after crude oil fields were found. While Humble began to pump oil from some areas, most of the land sat vacant until 1962, a year after NASA announced plans for the Manned Spacecraft Center. Humble Oil, announced their plans to use the Clear Lake land to build a planned community. They would do so under their Friendswood Development Company, who had already been working …

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Deseret Industries Houston: When the Osmonds met Goodwill

The "eyebrow arch" is a D.I. addition, Oshman's buildings were squared off

Thrifting is ubiquitous in Houston. There are people who make their entire livings going to thrift stores, and reselling merchandise they find there. Outside of business prospects, many of us enjoy thrifting simply for the fun of it. You never really know what you’re going to find with a megalopolis worth of donations, in a repurposed retailer. I’ve thrifted a good amount of vintage electronics in my day, including a great deal of video games. However, my focus as of late is more retail based signage, memorabilia, glassware, etc… However, these are the exact types of things that other thrifters …

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SpEckerd either way you’ve gotta show ID to buy stuff!

On the outside anyone could tell this was an Eckerd, as far as I know they only used this design along with a smaller variant closer to their exit.

Houston has a preponderance of former drug stores. Many have found new uses, and seemingly just as many continue to sit vacant. The vast majority of these failed pharmacies come from overbuilding over the past 20 or so years. The issue wasn’t specific to Houston, as evident by the recently announced CVS closures, but it sure had an early start here. Most of it began around 2003 when CVS entered the Houston market, their desire to expand was met by with a swift response from Walgreens who planned an expansion in Houston of their own. With CVS, and Walgreens both …

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HEB’s Failed Concept store in Northwest Houston

Houston has been a stable market for H-E-B for many years now. While the early years were a bit touch and go at certain times overall HEB could be considered one of the more stable grocers in the Houston area. Even towards the end of the Pantry Foods era HEB’s success in Houston was measurable. It came to the point where the company felt brave enough to open a “concept store” here in town. Located at 6960 Barker Cypress Rd, Houston, TX 77084, this Pantry Foods was a “late bloomer” not opening until 1998. However it seems HEB hoped that …

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