MEMORIAL CITY SEARS BITES THE DUST Next up for closure as part of the ongoing nationwide Sears shutterings: the Memorial City Mall location. It opened in 1962 along with the mall itself, where it occupies the 195,710-sq.-ft. southwestern wing. Thirty-two other Searses are going away with it across 21 states — reports Business Insider — including one fellow Texas store in Bryan. [Business Insider; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Toru O.
I’m a little surprised that this location got axed. Being an anchor tenant and in a busy part of town, you’d think this one would survive. [Though, it has survived several rounds of closures so there’s that.]
I guess its number was up but it makes me think that the whole Sears chain is about to go “glug, glug, glug” like the Titanic.
An article in today’s Chronicle said that “Sears in Memorial City Mall to close in November.”
@ Sears show some mercy and get this slow death over with already.
This is sad for me since I worked here for almost a year in distributed education before joining the Marines. Received a 6 month early out; then went on to work 23 years for Sears ending in ’93.
I’m surprised that this location will be closing before, say, the N Shepherd location. It always seemed relatively busy by Sears standards.
I’m going to miss it. Was nice to have somewhere to go and check out tools, lawn stuff, electronics, etc while my wife shopped for boring stuff in the rest of the mall. Wish it could reopen as a Fry’s Electronics or a really big Harbor Freight, haha.
Memorial City Sears – I hate that store. I was there once to by a pair of jeans. Got the jeans and looked for a checkout. Saw a long line at the nearest checkout and spied another with only 1 person inline. So I went there. As I stood in line the snooty checkout lady said that I would need to go to the other checkout place. I asked why. She said that i needed to go the Sears. I said this looks like Sears to me. She said that it was Lands End,. I said F— that S— and dropped the jean and never went back.
Sears could have been Amazon. They owned the mail order biz for generations, but they were too stupid to imagine that their biz could morph into the internet.
I actually have faint childhood memories of when this Sears opened. I have a bit of nostalgia for it, although I never spent much there. The appliance, hardware, and lawn-care departments always seemed to be more popular. The clothing and other departments, not so much.
That whole mall has always seemed odd to me. In its initial incarnation, it never seemed to have many customers. It did have a grocery store (Weingarten’s, I think) that my mom shopped at … at least until her car was stolen from the parking lot. A bit later, the mall seemed to be mostly visited by undocumented people living north of I-10. The owners (I guess MetroNational by that time) expanded it and brought in some nicer stores, so they managed to attract a bit more of the Memorial crowd. Since then, MetroNational has built a lot of stuff around it that I suppose creates a larger reservoir of potential customers. Despite that, it still seems like an odd place to me, not really a destination-type place.
Grant: My wife claims the reason the North Shepherd location survives all the cuts is that Sears owns the dirt there, as contrasted with Memorial City and the other locations. True? Don’t know, but it sure would make a difference in the economics and cash flow. If the cost of lost opportunity at that site was considered, don’t know that things would be that clear.
I want to say Sears owns this store as the store was built before the mall was, but I’m not entirely sure. As for speculation about its replacement, I can see this becoming a Dicks Sporting Goods (they tend to fill voids in malls left by closed dept stores) or maybe more mall shops.
According to a mall history site the Sears store opened in 1962 as a freestanding structure. The enclosed mall wasn’t constructed until 1965. So the Sears and the enclosed mall were not opened together as stated in this article.
The next thing You’ll see at The Spot Sears will leave Memorial City would probably be a Dick’s Store.
Well, that is a bummer. The Houston-area now only has 3 authentic Sears stores, not including hometowns, showrooms, or outlets. Going to miss that one.
Al, Sears sold the N Shepherd location awhile ago… https://www.seritage.com/retail/property/4000-n-shepherd-dr/3312632/landing
Sears no longer owns the real estate at the Shepherd or Memorial City locations. A good portion (if not all) of Sears’ real estate holdings were monetized/spun off/sold to Seritage Growth Properties a few years ago, Sears now leases the spaces back from Seritage.
The sears auto center at Memorial City is usually pretty busy, but the store is just depressing. Maybe the folks there have known for some time that their location was about to be closed; you could just feel the imminent closing in the air as you walked through.
My parents bought me an Atari here back when there was a Sears branded version of it.
For that memory alone I am sad to see it go. I should set up a preserve the Memorial Sears campaign so it isn’t bought by a dealership.
I have a relative in southern Los Angeles County who lives by a mall (Del Amo) anchored on it’s south end by a Sears store. I’ve been in that store and also the Memorial City store many times and I always got the sense of immanent doom. Kind of like they were walking corpses. For so many years, Sears was the go-to place for many things and I wonder why they couldn’t adapt. Perhaps its because corporations can become decadent just like countries?
I once had a lot of Craftsman tools. They were made by a variety of companies, but with Craftsman specifications. Good enough for spastic DIYers such as me. (Sorry if I offended someone by using the ‘S’ word). They were the only reason I ever went to Sears. Nowadays, there are too many other good options.
Like a lot of people, over the years I bought lots of Craftsman tools (including lawnmowers and string trimmers) and many Kenmore appliances – as in, at one time all of the big white metal boxes save the 1950ish range that came with the house were from Sears. The last few times I tried to buy anything more complex than a ratchet set it was impossible to get anyone to assist me (something that is sometimes necessary since the French door refrigerator won’t fit into the trunk of the car).
IMO the current upper management has been more interested in operating under “modern management principles” that prioritize the current quarter’s numbers above everything else, and then selling off assets because the employees are sullen and unmotivated, the lower priced products are unappealing, and the customers are vanishing. Sears was Amazon before Amazon, albeit at a disadvantage for years because it had to charge sales taxes.
I’ve also done a lot of shopping at Sears – for Kenmore & Craftsman. I trusted the store and its products.
But, I also couldn’t find any help most recently when looking at the fridges – the salespeople were all chatting in the back and looked frightened that I found them!
Loved the Parts store – where there WAS knowledgeable staff in my experience.
There are some Ace Hardware stores that give me a similar confidence – good merch, good help, pleasant experience.
Living close to the mall, I pass this store everyday on my way to work. What find odd is that they have these little signs hanging from the ceiling (I seen them through the outside doors that states they’ve been in business 135 years. This morning I noticed they are “now hiring” for the holidays. I find that odd as I have heard they were closing earlier than that.
Rumor has it that Whole Foods is planning to move into the vacated Sears. Woo boo for the Memorial area.
Yeah it’s the end of a era for sure. I remember going in that Sears a bunch of times with my mom in the 70s. It was busy the last few days with the liquidation sales