Friday, April 29, 2016

Sears Midtown Houston photos from 2015 & 2016

Here is the Sears in Midtown Houston which recently celebrated their 75th anniversary. The store is located a few miles south of downtown Houston. This area of Houston is undergoing a transformation and many new developments have caused the land value to skyrocket. The store continues to stay busy and is in a prime location.

The store as viewed from the US 59 and Fannin exit ramp. The store was designed to stand out and still does.  
Now we go to the inside of the store on the basement level.

Electronics, Appliances, Tools, Fitness, Mattresses, Vacuums, Small Appliances, Furniture, Lawn and Garden and Seasonal departments are located on this level.
Fitness and hardware
Christmas 2015 display
More of the basement level

A closeup of the vintage clock.
The power shop sign could use some help. Many of the tools are locked up in glass cases at this location.

Now up to the 2nd floor or 3rd floor. 

Children's, Lingerie, Home Goods, Bath, and As Seen on TV are on this level. You can see some of the old Sears wall coverings partially covered. I wonder what this corner of the store was originally, maybe a restaurant. 
A closeup of the old store fixtures.
A wide view of the 2nd or 3rd level.
An old exit sign at the entrance to the stairwell.
A picture of Sam Houston in the stairwell.
Now for the 1st or 2nd floor of the store.
This is the main level of the store you enter from the street. Shoes, Men's, and Women's clothing are on this level.

The pick up area of the store.
A different view of the store.
A couple more interior photos

The empty video game case in the electronics department just before it was removed.
This corner of the electronics department now features mattresses due to the continued shrinkage of all Sears electronics departments.

Here is how the store looks at night.
The Sears auto center with the main store in the background.

The sign can be seen to the left of this photo with Downtown Houston in the background.


  1. Thanks for the photos of the Main St. Sears. This might very well be the most historic retail spot in Houston. It's certainly worth photographing since it's now over 75 years old. The N. Shepherd Sears is pretty historic too, but this store has a lot more history than even that location.

    I last visited the Main St. Sears last summer. During that time, they were removing the TVs from that far aisle on the left in that Christmas 2014 picture of the electronics department. I don't know what else has gone in there to replace the TVs though. The electronics department here certainly has seen one of the bigger downsizings compared to other Sears stores though. Just a few years ago this store actually had a pretty decent selection of video games and all of that. It's hard to say exactly what they have left since it's been a year since I've been there, but hopefully they still have some good electronics items left.

    This Sears is one of the bigger Sears in the Houston area along with the Memorial City Mall and Westwood Mall locations. They do have a pretty good selection of items perhaps aside from electronics. One odd thing, as you point out, is that a lot of the tools at this store are behind glass cases.

    I never noticed the Sam Houston picture in the stairwell before. That's interesting. I never really noticed the walled off areas of the stores showing the old fixtures either. That's neat. This store probably did have a restaurant and it almost certainly would have had a snack counter, but I'm not sure where those would have been exactly or when they closed.

    Some people assume that this Sears store is closed due to it having a boarded over look, due to the limited hours, and probably due to the dated signage, but it is indeed open for business and I usually see a decent number of shoppers there when I've been there in recent years at around closing time (7pm). Hopefully the store will remain for years to come because it's certainly one of the few retail options near downtown Houston especially with the closure of the downtown Macy's a few years ago. There's a lot of new apartments coming up in downtown and midtown. Although Sears may not be able to sell lawn mowers and stuff like that to these residents, they will be wanting to buy small appliances, clothes, and electronics so hopefully this Sears can serve those new residents to the area.

    1. The electronics department is very basic now. The department has just about been cut in half. The mattresses have taken up most of the former electronics space. This store like many Sears stores had a recent electronics department refresh with a new paint scheme. Shortly after the refresh, the electronics department was significantly downsized.

      The tool, lawn and garden, and fitness departments are small in proportion to the size of the store. Some of the items like mattresses could probably be moved upstairs to the top sales floor where there is a lot of space to make room downstairs if needed.

      The exterior of this store is not very inviting. They sacrificed the appearance of the store to try and prevent burglaries. Hopefully Sears will freshen up the exterior of the store, but that seems unlikely.

    2. I know that there's a lot of people who live in central Houston who want to see Sears renovate the store so it has it's old Art Deco design that it had until the store's renovation in the late 1960s I do believe. I don't know if Sears would ever bring the Art Deco look back even if they had the money to do so (they don't), but hopefully Sears financial situation will improve and they can do some sort of renovation to make the store look more inviting. At the same time, it would be a shame to lose the current look as it's about 50 years old itself.

      This Sears and to some extent the Westwood Sears appear to be merchandised as mid-sized Sears even though the buildings are quite a bit larger. I'd say both stores still have more clothing than mid-sized Sears, but the tool departments and such may not be much larger. There is enough room on the ground floor as you say that maybe Sears could move some stuff there or maybe lease some space out if retail interest ever grows in the Midtown district.

      As for the Kroger on 2920 and I-45, I'm not familiar with that location. I really can't tell you anything about it. Off the top of my head I really can't recall any stores that didn't open as a Greenhouse Kroger that was converted into one, but perhaps there was a transitional period between the Superstore era design Krogers and the Greenhouses where such a conversion could have been made easily. There were certainly some notable changes between the early Greenhouses and the later ones.

    3. Management could rip the siding off of the Sears building that was installed in the 60's or was it 70's and it would improve the building.

      The Midtown Sears would be tricky to reconfigure and add another retailer. About half of the main floor on the South side of the building could be used. I can see the building being sold and demolished if the rental market picks up again.

  2. I have to wonder... was the Kroger at i45 and 2920 in Spring originally a Kroger superstore? Kroger on Facebook told me the store was built in 1974, but the store closed in 2013 as a greenhouse. I didn't think the greenhouse design was used until around 1977. So might the store have been remodeled to the greenhouse look in 1980-something?

  3. Any idea when the Kroger at i45 and 2920 first opened? Also when over the years was it remodeled?