Saturday, December 4, 2021

Sears Parks at Arlington Mall Closed August 9, 2020

Here is an update to the contest which closed on December 1st, 2021. The contest winners have been notified. Thank you for all of your support here on the blog. Now for the feature presentation 👇

Sears Parks at Arlington Mall opened in 1988 as an original anchor of the mall. Parks at Arlington Mall was also a Homart development, which was a Sears company as well. We visited on August 2, 2020, a week before the store permanently closed on August 9, 2020. The store was in really good shape and appeared to have recently been painted.

We will be entering the second floor which is mostly apparel.

Inside of the store, we will see that this is a fairly standard Sears location.


More areas of the store that once were filled with Children's clothes and were blocked off at this point in the sale. 

Men's clothing. The inventory here had been consolidated elsewhere.

What is left of the clothing at this point in the sale. 

The second floor had some fixtures, but the bulk of fixtures was on the first floor.



The tables were placed here to block this portion of the store off. About half of the second floor was blocked off at this point.


More of the remaining clothes and the mall entrance.


This is more than likely where the Men's pants were located in the past.

More emptiness.

The escalator ceiling design here is interesting. A lot of the stores built in this era had skylights so this is something different.


Now we head downstairs.

Fixture graveyard.


A newer Bath sign in a font I haven't seen before.

The first floor exit and merchandise pickup.

Former tax counter, hearing aid counter, or optical?



Typical Sears, a CRT TV still in use for the package pickup area. 


As always, the typical store closing rug sale.

Lots of seasonal boxes here. It was weird seeing these with 90 + degree temps outside.

Now for the lawn and garden and tool departments. This is the section of the store that was reopened for the Sears Hometown store.

Tons of shopping carts for sale. No handbaskets left that I could find unfortunately.

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A look at the various shopping cart fonts. 

What once was a wall of tools, is now empty.

More fixtures spilled over into this section of the store.

A few appliances and odds and ends were left.


A decent amount of tools on these racks at this point in the sale. The real question is do they have 10mm sockets? 

I am trying to remember what department had this blue background. Maybe it was sporting goods.

More fixtures, there were a ton of shelves, racks, and shopping carts. I guess the good smaller stuff had already been sold off. 



More views from this same area. Tools/lawn and garden/sporting goods.





One of the stranger fixture pieces up for sale.

Another unique sign with a font I haven't seen before.

Another view of the massive pile of shopping carts. I wonder if these are now being reused at an Ollie's somewhere.

As you can see, we were in the final days of the sale.

The remaining outdoor furniture sets and vacuum cleaner stuff in the background.

A lonesome appliance checkout counter.

More fixtures!

The former electronics department.

An interesting find. I was having a hard time finding the former electronics department until I found this. 

Looking to the escalators from the former electronics department.

More of the appliance department.



A cool vintage sign. Just when you think that a store isn't interesting you find something awesome like this.

The office where this sign was located had seen better days.


Here is the mall entrance to the store. The entrance is very similar to the Rolling Oaks Sears store in San Antonio which also opened in 1988. 



Now for a handful of photos as we leave the store. These are from the second floor.


The jewelry counter.



The final look before we leave.

Now for some more exterior shots of the store.




As we head out, the story of this location is not over. The store has recently reopened as a Sears Hometown. Only a portion of the first floor is being used, but the mall entrance is open once again.

We didn't have a chance to walk the mall as we were running out of time on this Sunday afternoon. We had 2 malls left to visit which have already been posted on the blog. The Northeast and Hulen Malls. 

 

8 comments:

  1. This is a timely post as this Sears Hometown location has been making some news on social media just this week! Obviously, Jeff's video pretty much sums up everything that people are saying about this place. This location is much better integrated into the mall than the Macroplaza Mall location, but it sounds like the Macroplaza operators might be closing off the mall corridor before the Sears area so I guess it wouldn't have made sense to do anything to the mall entrance there.

    The Sears Hometown store there could use more inventory to fill in the space, but at least there seems to be some shoppers in the Sears Hometown store. I suspect they're doing a lot better than the Macroplaza location just because they are in a much more successful mall!

    As for the original Sears closing sale photos, these are some interesting ones, thanks. That Appliance Select sign is really interesting because Willowbrook Mall had one of those as well (as did Baybrook and Memorial City if I remember correctly and maybe some other locations as well). Those rooms were really strange. I wondered what they had in there. I guess builders who used Sears appliances would send customers there to pick out what appliances they wanted. I do remember some big-name house builders in Houston were using Sears appliances about 20 years ago. I wonder when the last time was that those rooms were in use.

    This store seems to have some similarities to the Willowbrook Sears, but this store has some newer touches like that escalator area ceiling. Sears tried to make those fancier at new locations built not long after Willowbrook opened. Also, this store did receive some updated interior signage that most Sears around here did not get. Still, there are plenty of 'stuck in the 1990s' fixtures around this store as well. It certainly looks like a Sears!

    I think the area with the blue walls was sporting goods. That audio/video distribution system is interesting. Certainly it wouldn't be of much use with modern TVs as that outlet has analog component video connections which most TVs now don't have. Still, it would have been helpful in the late 2000s during the big LCD HDTV push that Sears was certainly a big part of.

    I'm sure you never thought that Sears would re-open here, or anywhere, but it looks like that is the case! Maybe you'll get a chance to check out this store again. If nothing else, it looks like Jeff gave all of us a good look at the place.

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    1. With the news of this Sears reopening, I bumped up the priority of this blog post. Reopening these Sears stores is a win for the malls, but they need a lot more inventory to be successful. It seems like the Dallas area Sears stores had some good updates over the years that for some reason never made it down to Houston. The Town East Sears in particular had a rare newer signage and an interior update.

      There is only one business and one kiosk open past the two shoe stores and nail salon in the Sears corridor. It would not be too hard to move those two businesses and close off the corridor.

      Did you hear anything about the Sears Hometown in the Willowbrook area?

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    2. No, I sure have not heard any new news about the Willowbrook-area Sears Hometown Store. I did drive around the outside of the old mall Sears about a week ago and I didn't see anything obvious indicating that a store would be opening there soon. That said, it's still possible to look into the store from the west and north entrances. They still have the lights on in the store. I only saw that from the car. I didn't want to get out and look through the windows due to a heavy security presence there at the time.

      It's pretty clear at this point that if a Willowbrook Sears Hometown Store is going to open, it won't happen until sometime in 2022.

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    3. The lights are still on at the Deerbrook Sears as well. All of the Spirit Halloween stuff is long gone now so the interior looks very empty now.

      If you type in Sears Hometown Willowbrook, it shows a listing at Willowbrook Mall and says the store opens on January 13th. The listing shows a photo of the Dick's Sporting Goods anchor so it may not be accurate.

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    4. Good find! I did some more research and found that Sears has set up a Facebook page for the Willowbrook location. I think Google Maps is confused about the location because this will be in a subdivided space whose address does not probably technically exist yet in Google Maps. I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the store will be in the old Sears location. Whether it'll have a mall entrance or not is to be seen though.

      Here is a link to that Facebook page. This is exciting. If this is what we think it is, who would have guessed that Sears would have returned to Willowbrook Mall in any form?!

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    5. Pretty cool, keep me posted if they open back up. The past month was a blur, and unfortunately I haven't been able to keep track of much. I did make it out to San Jacinto Mall today to check out the Macy's there. The store closing sale just started today. With the Macy's closing, Fidelis has a blank slate to work with now. Who knows what will be on the mall site now. Macy's had already thinned out their inventory and the second floor is just furniture, mattresses, and the closing sale rug department. The store is looking pretty pathetic with how low the inventory is. The strange part is that they actually painted and spruced up some parts of the store after the second floor merchandise was moved downstairs. Either way, I am looking forward to what fixtures show up in the next few weeks. I am hoping some Foley's era stuff gets put out.

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  2. Very interesting post, since it was a liquidation did you try to pick up that Builder's Resource Center sign? I have been to the Parks mall a few times, but never stopped the Sears. Too bad you didn't have a chance to explore the mall itself. It's a great example of a well kept Homart mall. Reminds me a bit of Deerbrook.

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    1. I really thought about making an offer for the sign and I probably should have. This mall visit was cut short due to our extended visit to Town East Mall. We got to the Dallas area around noon on a Sunday and I planned to visit 4 malls. We started at Town East, then The Parks Mall, Hulen, and finally Northeast. By the time we got to Northeast we had less than 45 minutes. Maybe I will go back in 2022 to finish up these malls, and get Music City Mall as well. I was only able to document Hulen and Town East on the visit.

      From what I saw of the mall your comparison is correct. This mall is far enough away from the other area malls to hold its own. The area around the mall is booming as well which will help the mall last for a long time.

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