Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Woodlands Mall; The Woodlands Texas

The Woodlands Mall is located Northwest of Houston in the suburb of the Woodlands in Montgomery County. Current anchors are Macy's, Sears, JCPenney, Dillard's, Forever 21, and Barnes and Noble. The Woodlands Mall opened in the mid 1990's in a competition with another developer that wanted to open a Conroe Mall at the Southwest corner of Loop 336 and I-45. Once the anchors started signing on with the Woodlands Mall development; the Conroe Mall plan was scrapped. Anchor changes have been minimal Macy's was a converted Foley's. Forever 21 was originally opened as a Mervyn's and was used as a Children's Museum for a couple of years once Mervyn's closed. Then Forever 21 took the space over a couple of years ago. The mall has room for one more anchor and like many of the malls built has an extra area open for what was once called a future anchor development. The Esplanade Mall and Deerbrook Mall which are similar two story malls also have an empty anchor spot that was never filled.

Sears will be closing in the next year; this building was sold by Sears to the mall owner General Growth Properties paving the way for a new anchor. Nordstrom is rumored to be the replacement anchor, but nothing official has been announced.

This is the outdoor/ lifestyle portion located on the southern portion of the mall. This section was built about 10 years ago. The waterway goes through the nearby business district. Several office towers have been constructed in the Woodlands area near I-45 and more are under construction.

For a fee, you can take this boat around the waterway.

The food court of the mall features a carousel and several restaurants.

The mall is very busy and has an open two story floor plan.

A good look at the Sears that will be redeveloped as part of the sale of a few company stores to the mall owner.  This store will be closed sometime in 2013 and turned over the the mall owner as part of the deal.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Goodbye Sears Great Indoors; the last location in Houston TX

This is a farewell article for the short-lived Sears Great Indoors concept. Nine Great Indoors stores were left when Sears decided to abandon the concept and close the remaining stores. The Houston store pictured here lasted a few weeks longer than the other eight stores that were closed.

The great indoors concept was much different from any recent Sears or Kmart concept. Each middle section of the store focused on a section of a house such as the great bathroom, the great bedroom, the great kitchen, and the great room. Some of the areas had sample bathrooms or kitchens to showcase their products. The edges of the store had appliances, tile, carpet, blinds, lighting, and furniture. The concept carried higher end products for the home than most items found in Sears stores. Also the prices were high in comparison with Lowe's, Home Depot, and Ikea. Since Sears is focusing on their core operations of Sears and Kmart; this concept was closed.

The store was huge at 150,000+ square feet of sales space. This was the view when you walk in the front door. There were two locations in Houston at one time Willowbrook (closed in 2011) and I-10 West near Beltway 8 pictured here.

The kitchen appliance section carried the higher dollar Kenmore and other Sears brand appliances.

At one time there must have been a cafe here, but it was filled with outdoor furniture even before the closing sale.
Here are several views of the different departments starting with the great kitchen.

The back of this picture was the rug section.

The view from the back of the store to the front.

Everything for the house including the kitchen sink.

There are several corny quotes posted in the far sections of the store.

The far back corners of the store contained this window blind section and a tile section on the other side of the store.

Another goofy quote.
The lighting section.

A view of the front row of the store.

Here are a couple displays that showcased merchandise packages.

The other corner of the store with the tile section.
The back row of the store.

The final quote should have been changed to high prices instead of beautiful prices.