The End of Houston’s Great Indoors

THE END OF HOUSTON’S GREAT INDOORS You’d think images of a solid, giant big box store marked “The Great Indoors” set behind an enormous freeway-side parking lot would be fodder for local photographers hoping to capture views of Houston in all its ironic suburban splendor. Alas, no pix of the hulking, 130,000-sq.-ft. home furnishings megastore on the north side of I-10 just inside Beltway 8 appear to be available online. Quick, take a few while you still can! And send them to Swamplot — we need one to go at the top of this story, which it appears will serve as the very first announcement in Houston media that the store will be closing forever. Parent company Sears Holdings dropped the news back in February that all 9 remaining Great Indoors stores would be shut down. But the news, like the store itself, failed to catch much attention around here. A reader alerted Swamplot to the closing just over the last weekend, noting “big sales are just starting.” [Home Textiles Today] Photo: Send one you’ve taken here

16 Comment

  • Great store – but I only went there to find what I wanted then searched the internet and found the same item for a lot less.

  • Ooo, agree that internet usually has better deals but they have some nice stuff. A big fat going out of business sale definitely has me scheming…

  • I’ve shopped there plenty, but never understood how they stayed in business. Huge store. Few customers.

  • Honestly, I’m astonished that it made it this long. I swear you could go to that store on any given day and find a front row parking spot. I used to drive by it daily and would rarely see more than 2 rows of parking occupied, and I would guess that 3/4 of those spots were occupied by employees. They need to just demolish the whole thing and build a detention pond because that area floods like crazy. Good riddance.

  • I bought a lamp there once but guess that wasn’t enough. Everything is so expensive there.

  • It was an interesting concept were the economy booming. Nice-looking, overpriced items for every room of the house. Yes, it was kind of cool to go look at a massive 6-burner Viking range or whatever, but in tough times, I don’t know who would be shopping in there. Of course, I don’t understand who lives in all of the multi-million-dollar homes that permeate this great town of ours, either.

  • GI was a very useful store for higher-end appliances, if you used them right. GI was like the Container Store, in that everything was “on sale” once or twice a month, not to mention the ubiquitous coupons, and since they were basically Sears, they would price match everything if you asked. Plus they were an authorized retailer, so all of the manufacturer’s warranties were valid. I couldn’t find a better price on the washer & dryer we bought from them even after adding in sales tax.
    Might have to go looking for a new fridge next weekend…

  • I opened these store back in 2000-2001. Lee H. hit the nail on the head. People shopped the showrooms and ordered online. They were great stores at the wrong time. And Drew, you strike me as a petty, bitter nasty person. Here’s hoping YOUR business goes belly up….and bulldozed.

  • I have lived less than 2 miles from this store for 10 years and have only set foot in there twice. Gauche selection at high prices. I do feel for the staff, los siento folks. Just hope whatever they put in there next doesn’t interfere with the easy short cut between Home Depot & Sam’s.

  • Hdtex- I’m not petty, bitter or nasty. What I do have a problem with is paving 240,000 square feet of land for a parking lot when only a third of that was needed. If things ever got busy, you could always split with Sam’s, Hobby Lobby and Home Depot. But it never did get busy. Flooding at the I-10/Sam intersection is horrendous, and having this huge, unused parking has only exacerbated this problem.

  • Drew…talk to the city. They stipulate the paving to retail sqaure foot ratio. I’d still love to see you lose your job so I could have the satisfaction of saying “good riddance”. Nope, you are not petty at all.

  • Hdtex- Did I ever say I was glad that people lost their jobs? No. I was simply stating an opinion on the parking lot and flooding in the area. Good riddance was in reference to the building and parking lot – not people. Sheesh….

  • Terrible service there the couple of times I went. I literally walked out of the store one day while waiting at checkout for the clerk and a co-worker to finish a conversation. Ignoring your customers is a quick and easy way to get into the spot they are now in.

  • I’ve wasted many an afternoon checking out high price appliances in the kitchen section. Sad to hear it is going. Over the years I have purchased (from this location) a kitchen faucet, range, ceiling fan, dishwasher and other random things. And, I always received excellent (if a bit too enthusiastic) customer service. Everyone’s experience is different, but mine was positive.

  • I am a current associate of the store and will say just a few things. First- @ Drew-The massive parking lot in the front of The Great Indoors is in fact owned by Walmart, and does not belong to, nor was built by TGI. Second-@ CN It really irks me that people say a store is going out of business based solely on the bad experience they received. While some of our associates may have provided you with a poor experience, I have been in retail a long time, and can honestly say the people I work with at The Great Indoors are of one of the greatest calibers of sales professionals, and all around genuine good people. The store is closing due to the fact that Sears Holdings (whose umbrella we have the misfortune of falling under) Had a horrible last quarter, and made a supremely hasty decision to shut down our company. This closing is putting an estimated 1000+ individuals out of work. No matter which way you paint it- Not an ideal situation all the way around. I will also say, as far as retail goes, you will find this store has an impressive tenure amongst it’s associates, and that says a lot! I wish people would seriously think things through before saying things that are hurtful and plain untrue.

  • I bought a mattress there from a very nice older gentleman. Very good deal and an easy transaction compared to the kind of used car salesman wannabes that work at most mattress shops. The store had a lot of big ticket items and was not a place you would expect to see a lot of foot traffic or need a lot of foot traffic. People that went there were really looking to make a big purchase. While I am no fan of big boxes, this one wasn’t so bad.