Monday, January 21, 2019

Sears West Oaks Mall Houston Texas

Here is the Sears at West Oaks Mall that closed in March 2018. This store was very unique as it began as a Saks Fifth Avenue, closed, then became a Sears with few renovations. The store was beginning to show its age in the last few years of business.

We visited the store just after Christmas season after the announcement was made to close the store.







The unique design of the store can be seen here.

The last of the electronics department, very sad.


The tool department had a second register counter, not sure when this had last been used.


The exercise and sporting goods departments were really good at this store. 

This drop down ceiling is different, not sure if any other Sears stores had them. 


The store still had a very well stocked tool department.




Tool department checkout.


Exit on the East side of the building. Women's clothing and accessories were located here.

The checkout near the above entrance.

The center of the store really stood out. Not many Sears stores with this kind of detail, even though it was from the Saks days. Notice the amount of lights not functioning.


Second floor 

Kid's clothes


The hidden portrait studio.

Besides the standard Sears flooring, the design of this store is unlike any other Sears store that I have been to.


Baby department near the maternity clothes and lingerie.



I see the light!


State-of-the-art surveillance camera system. 

Just like many other Sears stores, boxed appliances were on the floor ready to be taken home.

This area had previously been the electronics department. The walls were painted over unlike other stores where the electronics disappeared and the walls stayed the same. This was one of the first stores in the Houston area to eliminate electronics.

This was one of the most hidden customer computers I have seen before. Placed in the back corner next to the fire exit.


The mattress department was very well taken care of. This part of the store had been recently remodeled.


The Sears optical was hidden all the way in the back corner as well. 

I had to laugh at this sad display. Who would buy this?

The detail here is awesome.

Going back down to the first floor.


Men's department.

The jewelry department was interesting here as well.

The advertisements behind the jewelry counter were from a long time ago.

Mall entrance. The sign to the left shows a store M and D Fashions that I recognized from the now closed Northwest Mall. The owners of that store just can't catch a break.

An added bonus, the mall entrance to the former Macy's which has since reopened as an outlet store, sort of like a flea market space.

Inside of the former Macy's.

More views of the exterior of the Sears store.



More posts coming up soon.

2 comments:

  1. This was one of the more unique Sears stores in the Houston area, thanks for the photos. I could be wrong about this, but I think this location was on just a single floor when it was a Saks. When Sears first opened shop in this location, I believe they only sold clothes. It was a very odd concept for Sears, but I guess this was the beginning of their "Softer Side of Sears" campaign. Eventually, it was made into a full Sears and I guess the second floor was added or opened up at that point. It was still a fairly small Sears, but a very unique one. I didn't really start shopping at this Sears until after it became a full Sears.

    Your pictures do a great job detailing the unique aspects of this store. You're right that the escalator/center area of the store was spectacular when it was maintained. I have memories of being wowed by it during my first visits to the store in the 1990s. It was unlike any other Sears I had been to. The subsequent 1990s-built Sears, like the Plaza Paseo and the former The Woodlands Mall Sears, also used a more department store look than the 1980s and earlier Sears, but this was my first look at the new era of Sears.

    Unfortunately, this Sears probably decayed worse than the other Houston area Sears between the early 2010s and the time it closed. I remembered this store still feeling quite nice when I visited it around 2012 and again in 2013, but my last visit to the store in around late 2016 was not as positive. I don't think the A/C wasn't working, the electronics cove just had random stuff thrown in it, and the jewelry area was just not maintained as well as it was in the past. Still, the store had a decent number of shoppers any time I went to it even though the mall itself didn't.

    I wonder if that lower ceiling where the fitness stuff is was where Sears had ceiling fans set up back in the day when they sold that stuff. They usually had a different ceiling in that department. As I mentioned earlier, the electronics department was set up in a cove-like area similar to what the old Foley's and Dillard's electronics departments looked like at many of their stores. Sadly, this highly visible part of the 2nd floor became a glorified storage area after the electronics department was eliminated.

    Some of the strange angles of the store made for odd product placement. I remember very narrow little corners for things like ties and socks in the men's department. Still, it was very nice looking and felt more like a department store than other older Sears stores.

    I'm not sure what's up with those yellow dresses. It looks like someone found some old 1970s stock in the Sears warehouse! 70% off wasn't enough for those.

    It seems that Lampert's bid to keep Sears going is going to happen. There are a few potential hurdles, but I think Lampert will get what he wants. Given that, Sears and Kmart should be around until 2020 at the very least. That almost seems hard to believe, but I hope Sears is able to rebound now. Granted, I'm not sure how they'll rebound with Lampert still in charge. Maybe he's been humbled and will try harder with this second chance, but my guess is that the asset sales and store closures will continue. Then again, Sears now claims that their remaining stores are the profitable ones. We'll see. We'll also have to see what the inventory situation is like as we approach the big product change cycle for the spring/summer.

    Does the blog have a new color scheme for 2019? I do like the new colors as it does make the page a bit more legible, but I will miss the trademark green and purple that had become so associated with this blog! Oh well, I think the new look will be a good thing in the long run.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe the Sears opened with just one level when it was the fashion only store. I do remember you mentioning that and I think there was an old article on this in the Chronicle.

      This was one of the nicest Sears stores, but they really let this store go. I wonder if management knew many years prior to the closing that their store was on the list.

      I have not been to West Oaks Mall since the closing of the Sears store, I wonder how the inside of the mall is doing now.

      There is going to be a fight to liquidate Sears despite the offer being accepted. By the end of the week we will know if the bankruptcy judge will accept the offer or not.

      It was time to change the blog and refresh the look of the pages. I had several comments over the years about the color scheme so I went with a more neutral scheme.

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