Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Goodbye Macy's Sage at the Galleria

Here was the last 1980's era Macy's in the Houston area. Macy's has an interesting history in the Houston area and almost disappeared at one point when this was the only Macy's store in the area. Macy's came to Houston in late 1984 with the Deerbrook Mall store and then Willowbrook and Baybrook locations opened shortly after in early 1985. All three of these stores had three floors and painted white bricks with large glass structures over the entrances. 

Macy's at Sage (Galleria Macy's) opened on September 24, 1986 with featured singer Tony Bennett and the Stephen F. Austin band with a gala to benefit the Children's Museum. The store was filled with balloons and also had other local music bands in the store. A parade with many of the characters from the New York Thanksgiving Day parade was also part of the opening day festivities. The new store opened along with an addition to the Galleria called Galleria III. The new section of the mall which actually opened on September 18 was attached to the mall through Marshall Fields which is now Saks Fifth Avenue. The Galleria III with space for 50 shops and over 100,000 square feet of space was 70% leased at the opening. and featured the Sharper Image, Bass Shoes, Au Bon Pain, Hoffritz for CutleryCrate and Barrel and a Ralph Lauren Polo shop along with the 3 story 256,000 square ft. Macy's. The Galleria I and II were 99% leased at the time of the Macy's opening. 

Timeline of Macy's history in the Houston area which directly and indirectly had an impact on this store.

In March 1988 Macy's made their first bid at to take over Federated stores which was the parent company of Foley's. The bid was not mentioned again in the news until 1994 after the bankruptcy.

In January 1992 Macy's files for bankruptcy protection and reorganizes.

In July 1994 Macy's and Federated agree to merge but the deal falls through. Macy's emerges from bankruptcy later that year. 

In March 1997 Macy's sells the Deerbrook, Baybrook, and Willowbrook locations to Dillard's. The stores are converted over the next year and only the Galleria store remained open in the Houston area. The Deerbrook Dillard's still looks exactly the same on the outside as the Macy's did with the exception of the sign change. The interior was remodeled. The Baybrook and Willowbrook stores were expanded and remodeled completely inside and out with the Dillard's design. 

May 2000 The latest expansion Galleria IV is announced with the addition of three story 225,000 square ft. Nordstrom and a 250,000 square ft. three story Foley's. 

July 2002 a sexual harassment lawsuit case was brought against Macy's stemming from an incident between two workers at the Galleria store. Macy's was cleared from any wrongdoing in the case.

August 2005 Macy's acquires Federated stores and announces they will eliminate duplicate mall locations including the Galleria Macy's. All Foley's stores became Macy's stores by September 9, 2006 which gives Macy's an unprecedented large share of the Houston department store market for the first time. 

2006-2013 Macy's at Sage which the store was renamed after the Federated acquisition continued to operate on borrowed time due to the lease agreement for the store. The store that was long rumored to close kept going until September 2013 when redevelopment plans were finalized for the entire Galleria III including the Macy's. The mall will be mostly demolished and Saks Fifth Avenue will move to the former mall portion of the Galleria III. The Macy's site will also be demolished to make way for a high-rise residential development. 

March 2014 Macy's begins the going out of business sale for the Macy's at Sage.

The final day of business was May 4, 2014. The store is currently being demolished.

Enjoy these photos of this retro 1980's Macy's location. The store did not have any major remodels throughout the years and still looked like it did in 1986. You don't see this kind of detail in modern department stores any more.  

Visit #1 about a month before the store closed. 
Here is another visit during the last two weeks of the sale. The once full store is starting to empty out. 
 2nd to last day May 3, 2014 The store still had all three floors open for fixture sales, but large sections of the store were empty. The first floor former Men's department had several clothes racks and odds and ends left.  
Bonus photos Galleria 3 redevelopment.

23 comments:

  1. this was a beautiful store. to bad is it gone . wish department store return to some design aspect we saw in the 80's and 90's. definitely a true upscale macy's location

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  2. Thanks for the pictures of the Macy’s at Sage. I’m sure a lot of your readers will enjoy reliving the history of the store. As you say, many modern department stores don’t have the nice touches like this store had. I can’t remember if I actually ever shopped at this store or not, but if I did, it was probably in the 1980s. Some of the interior pictures of the Macy’s at Sage remind me of the old Willowbrook Mall Macy’s that is now Dillard’s as you mentioned. There are certainly some common aspects. My best memories of the original Willowbrook Macy’s was on the third floor of the store. I do remember shopping at The Cellar (which I think was on the 3rd floor oddly enough) and also looking at the electronics room they had up there. Macy’s sold and demoed Sega Master System games which not every store did at that time.

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    1. Deerbrook Mall was the same with a 3rd floor electronics and cellar location. I think there was also a restaurant up there at one time as well. It is surprising that Deerbrook still looks the same on the outside as before. You can even see parts of the old Macy's lettering that was covered up. We are getting close to the time of year when Macy's closes stores and I wonder if San Jacinto Mall is next. San Jacinto has not had any major updates since Macy's took over and the store seems the least busy out of all the stores I have visited this year. The other two stores to look out for are West Oaks and Pasadena but mostly because the stores are older and have not seen any major updates either. Both of those stores are busier and West Oaks management has really improved the mall. Pasadena Town Square on the other hand has suffered from a loss of a bunch of inline stores and a junior anchor in the past two years.

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    2. I'm not sure why Dillard's didn't do more to remodel the outside of the Deerbrook Mall ex-Macy's. Maybe they didn't feel that it was necessary or maybe they weren't sure if the store would be as successful as the other two so maybe they didn't invest as much in it. It's hard to say.

      I'm not too worried about the West Oaks Mall Macy's at the moment. I think the mall and the store are doing well enough to keep things going. The store is a bit retro, but it's not like the store is in disrepair (AFAIK at least) so I'm not sure if Macy's will do any updates there at this time.

      The San Jacinto Mall and Pasadena Town Square locations are a bit more questionable. They've stayed open this long so maybe that is a good sign. I've heard that the San Jacinto store is quite retro and the Pasadena store still has retro elements that even predate the West Oaks and San Jacinto Mall stores. Macy's really should consider fixing the ceiling (or at least the ceiling tiles) at the Pasadena location if they keep it open because it's pretty bad looking. The Pasadena Town Square Sears is a lot newer than the Macy's there, but the Sears there also seems more upscale than the Macy's which is probably an issue for Macy's. Perhaps these stores are doing well enough to justify staying open given that Macy's won't get much (or anything) for the buildings if they close the stores and try to sell the properties.

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    3. I don't think the west oaks location is at risk since they moved there furniture clearance center there and the fact the store is pretty packed on the weekends. I wouldn't be surprise if Pasadena goes since the new almeda store is so close.

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    4. I think if Macy's was to close a location next year , it probably the greenspoint location. that are has too many Macy's with willobrook ,deerbrook, and woodlands
      westoaks location did get upgrades over the summer. the floors upstairs was re-waxed and several new areas have opened up for the holidays that were not there last year at the same time of year. I think if anything happens to the westoaks location it probably will shift into the way Dillard's went with a clearance store. There are a lot of people in the area within westoaks mall with all types of income.

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    5. Thanks for the update on the West Oaks store. The only reason I added them to the list is because of the Sharpstown store closing a few years ago. The store went from being one of the top performers to being closed by Macy's in just a few short years. Macy's may be looking to put a store in the Katy area again since the economy has really picked up which could bring some of the older projects back to life that were stalled a few years ago. West Oaks would lose sales if a store opened in Katy.
      San Jacinto seems the most likely since the owners have let the mall fall apart. There are still water stained walls and boarded up skylights from Hurricane Ike that have not been fixed unless it happened in the past 2 months since my last visit there.
      There are many retro elements in all three stores but it sounds like West Oaks has seen some upgrades.

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    6. I think if macy's was to opened a new location it may be far up north on the grand parkway so I don't think it would affect westoaks. I don't macy's would be successful if it was at katy mills. The reason I say that is there are a lot of the speciality stores in the mall that shoppers may prefer over macy's full price. It wouldn't surprise me if macy's doesn't close any locations. I think macy's is at the point where Houston is growing so fast that areas that maybe over malled or "macyed" may become viable again. the example of this is almeda macy's and westoaks. The energy corridor is getting big and more business are coming around and new apartments are coming up on briar forest and eldridge. I think if macy's was going to close westoaks, it would have happened back in 2008-2009 when the mall was really bad. However, macy's may have an advantage at westoaks since Dillard's no longer carries cosmetic and jewelry and that is a large portion of sales.
      what is interesting is of westoaks can get something downstairs of jc penny, the store is very upscale and is the only remaints of lord and taylor in houston

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    7. I agree that Macy's would not be wise to open at Katy Mills. They would have to have a large clearance section to remain viable there. The best comparison I have is what happened to JCPenney at West Oaks, but they did not really invest much into that store in the first place so they probably were testing the market with that store. Macy's is more aggressive than Foley's was with cutting stores so we will see what the future holds.

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    8. I agree that macy's has to be careful where they place a new store. since really far northwest Houston or katy has Katy mills to the south and premium outlets to the north . the only place I would see a macy or a new mall is far west like near fulshear and even then that are is largely unincorporated. its hard to tell , I think the area needs to be studied because one mistake and the mall or macy's will end up like san Jacinto mall where it is to big for an area or town and country mall where it is hard to get or to close to katy mills, westoaks , or first colony.

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    9. A new mall may help change development patterns in the Katy/ far West Houston area, but who knows how long this boom cycle will last. A new mall could open up and the residential development to support a mall could be 10-20 years away. Companies are looking for a slam dunk these days. Two new enclosed malls opened up in 2014 which breaks the lull in new US mall construction. Both of those malls (in Florida and New York City) are geared towards upper class shoppers and feature Macy's as an anchor so it is possible they are interested in Katy as well.

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  3. this store was so upscale too bad is almost all gone .only a few columns are left from this massive store

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    1. Thanks for the update, I will have to pass by soon before all is completely leveled.

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  4. looks like macy's is going back to upscale layouts
    this is there newest store.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZH7vJztd2Q

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    1. Thanks for sending over the link, I am glad to see new mall construction in the US even though only 2 new malls opened up last year. This mall and one in Harlem both have upscale tenants so we will see if more new malls are built in the near future.

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  5. I am very surprised that Macy's isn't closing any store in Houston. They closed mall of mainland, downtown and Macy's at sage back to back. I'm surprised greenspoint , Pasadena town square or san jacinto are listed. Those locations have been poor for over 15 years.

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    1. I know Pasadena still is very busy despite the look of the store, but the other two are much slower and I am surprised as well they are still open. Macy's might have good sales in a certain section of the store that is just enough to keep these stores open. Greenspoint in particular with the second floor completely closed off just does not have the selection of a full Macy's store anymore.

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  6. I believe the store began the closing sale March 18, 2014 not feb.

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    1. Thanks for the correction, you are right the sale began in March. I have corrected the post.

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  7. I was recently on a trip to Deerbrook Dillard's, I was surprised of how little Dillard's remodel the store. The fixtures of course are Dillard's and the furniture area is remodeled to Dillard's most recent look. However the second floor is completely Macy's . The fragrance selection reminded me too much of flagship store in the Galleria. I was surprised that Dillard's closed the second skylight on the third floor. If one looks at google earth you can clearly see that the third floor had 2 skylights. The shape of the close skylight is still there in kids however , it has been covered up , so there is a weird high celling in a small area. with nothing there.

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    1. I really wonder what is going to happen to that store. Dillard's did not upgrade that store like they did with the 2 other stores they acquired from Macy's in the mid 1990's. The outside of the store is looking really old and worn out and needs to be upgraded. The inside of the store could use some work as well with many departments with old worn out carpeting.

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    2. I believe the store stays busy however, the store looks really dated, but not in the good way since Dillard's didn't really paint the store inside so there is a lot of pealing paint. I have pictures to show and donate to you website for future use.

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    3. Sure, all pictures are always appreciated, but it may take a while to publish an article to go with them. You can send them to southernmalls@gmail.com and let me know who to give the credit to or if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks

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