Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Sears Willowbrook Mall Houston Texas 2017 & 2018 photos


December 2017 visit. One of the better Holiday displays before the company really began to fade.



March 2018 visit. At this point almost all of the electronics department had disappeared. This whole area was filled with electronics.

The last of the electronics department.







A different view of the rest of what used to be electronics.

The tool department was really beginning to thin out at this point.




The automotive department.






The sporting goods department had some clearance lawn and garden items mixed in.





That gift card advertisement looks pretty old.

The lawn and garden department looks pretty good still. That began changing after Summer passed.




More views from around the store.



Gotta love this old school style sign. It was still here in late 2020 when Spirit Halloween used the building.

This Sears did look very nice when you walked in this entrance at the Men's department.




Of course the mall sign had a letter burnt out.

June 2018 visit. We start this tour on the second floor.

The second floor here had the same departments as at the Baytown Sears. Housewares, Intimates, Kids clothing, and furniture.


Old school style escalator area.


This back area of the second floor was closed off soon after these photos were taken. The clothes racks and furniture were consolidated to shrink the floor space. You will see how this area looked in 2020 in the following update.


Just random things thrown in to take up space.




More to come from this particular Sears location including photos of the store closing sale in January of 2020, and Spirit Halloween photos from later that year in 2020. 


9 comments:

  1. I miss Sears! Our Sears was also a Spirit Halloween the first year after it closed. Now it's just empty.

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    1. I saw this store and the local store at Deerbrook on their list for 2021 Spirit stores. The Baybrook Mall Sears also had the Spirit Halloween signs up already. I have a future update that will show how the store looked in 2020 when it was a Spirit store.

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  2. Replies
    1. Me too, I wish I could save it. Who knows what will happen to it over the years.

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  3. It is great seeing the Willowbrook Mall Sears, my former local Sears, once again after the sad closing it had last year. Thanks for the great photos. Although the Sears Christmas displays of their last few years were not as fancy as their Christmas displays of the past, they still gathered pretty large crowds and they still looked pretty good. Last year was my first Christmas season where I could not do my Christmas shopping at Sears, but it was kind of a strange year anyway. With things returning back to normal, or at least everyone is hoping, it will be strange not to be able to do Christmas shopping there this year. I already miss shopping at Sears in general.

    It looks like those 2018 photos were taken during those disappointing years where the Willowbrook Sears downsized their remaining electronics into those three or four tiny aisles. Things actually got worse from there before the store closed for good. It's interesting seeing the Nakamichi name on the shelves at Sears. That was one of the great names, maybe the greatest, in cassette decks. I did buy a pair of Nakamichi headphones from Sears some years ago. They weren't bad, but they certainly weren't up to the standards set by the original Nakamichi.

    It seems like all the Sears in this area had those Movie Night DVD displays, but I'm not sure if I ever saw any of that DVD inventory get thinner so I wonder if anyone even bought any of those. They're not exactly the most interesting DVDs one can find even in bargain bins.

    The inventory at the Willowbrook Sears really started to thin out in 2018. Things don't look as bad in the photos as they did by the end of the year.

    That empty space by the Sears Auto Center was the Avis/Budget Car Rental desk I do believe. I don't remember when exactly they closed, but I do think they closed before the store itself did. I guess this is proof of that.

    That Sears gift card sign must be from 2003-4 or earlier. I think that's when they switched to the logo that was similar to that one, but had lowercase letters except for the first S. I can't say I'm too surprised it stuck around as long as it did. I'm not so sure if Sears gift cards were as well received in 2018 as they were before 2004, lol.

    As always, it's great seeing that 'Thank You For Shopping at Sears' sign. I loved seeing it and I tried to savor seeing it during my last few visits to the store since I knew it was possible the store could close at any time. I don't know if the sign is still there. Spirit Halloween is coming back to this ex-Sears for 2021 so hopefully it's still greeting shoppers at that time.

    I do have a guest blog post coming soon in a few weeks about Willowbrook Mall on the Houston Historic Retail blog. Hopefully your readers who are interested in this mall, and I know a lot of your readers are, will like that post. Je was kind enough to send me some photos of the mall that I could use for the post so those who like Je's photography will want to check it out.

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    1. There will be a few more Sears Christmas displays featured here in the future. It was strange going to Sears in 2020 and not seeing Christmas displays.

      Some of the electronics survived until the store closing sale including a Polaroid TV which was the only in store brand they had towards the end. The last store to survive in our area had stopped selling electronics years ago, so it was nice that Willowbrook, Deerbrook, and North Shepherd had electronics all the way up until the end.

      I did see a handful of movies for sale on the final day of the North Shepherd Sears store closing. Most of the crummy movies on those racks could be found at the Dollar Tree.

      It was interesting that the tool departments at Willowbrook and Deerbrook were being consolidated again when the store closing announcements were made. Inventory has continued to be an issue at the few remaining Sears stores from what I have read. The inventory they are getting is random junk with a lot of unknown brands. I read about Speed Queen washing machines and dryers shipped instead of well known name brands for example.

      I remember when you could rent cars at Sears. If I remember correctly, the Mall of the Mainland Sears still had the rental counter until the very end.

      I have several gift cards that I saved from Sears with varying logos. That advertisement almost looks like it came from the gift certificate era.

      I got a photo of the sign in 2020 when Spirit had taken over the building. I still would like to save the sign, but I doubt it will happen.

      I can't wait for the Willowbrook post. Going to Willowbrook in my younger years was a special treat since we lived close to both Deerbrook and Greenspoint Malls.

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  4. Do you have any photos of what the electronic department looked like at the Willlowbrook Sears before they downsized it?

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    1. Unfortunately I do not. I have a few other Sears electronic departments documented for a future post.

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    2. I was just notified by our good friend anonymous of this post from carbon-izer with more Willowbrook Sears photos.

      http://www.carbon-izer.com/aerostar/fm1960/willowbrook.html

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