One Last Visit: Sears In Their Final Days at Fort Henry Mall

Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN
Can we all just agree right off the bat that I am just a big weirdo? A big, sentimental, nostalgia obsessed, incredibly handsome weirdo? As more and more Kmart and Sears closings have been announced over the past 12 months I have raced over the Midwest and Southeast trying to document these stores and give them a footnote in a very small chapter of a minute subject of our human existence. None of the stores, save for the Kmart in Corbin is or was more dear to my heart than the Sears at Fort Henry Mall.
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN
Just after it was announced that this store would be closing i went over and visited and wrote up a blog entry covering the history of the store. That entry, along with photos from the visit can be found by clicking  on this link.

Sears — Fort Henry Mall — Kingsport, Tennessee
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport TN The Sears at Fort Henry Mall will close for good at the end of the business day on Sunday March 26th. Sears -- Kingsport TN
Sears -- Kingsport TN Sears -- Kingsport TN
Sears -- Kingsport TN
At the time of this visit, with only three days left in business the attached auto center had already been closed for business and the signs removed.
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN
The Package Pick Up area was busy with people picking up fixtures that they have bought from the store.
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN If I was a betting man I would bet that this spot could very well become home to the tri cities area’s first Dunham’s Sports store. (although if I had my way it would become home to the areas first At Home store). Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN
Hull, the company that recently purchased Fort Henry Mall appears ready and willing to do what it takes to reinvigorate the mall and have stated changes are coming to the mall as early as this summer. The company (Hull) also seems to have a knack for filling vacated mall anchor stores with Dunham’s or TJ Maxx.
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport TN

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Sears — Fort Henry Mall — Kingsport, Tennessee

Before starting this article, I realize that this mall “officially” changed it’s name to Kingsport Town Center almost 10 years ago.  However, seeing as how the mall has failed to follow through with even changing the name on the building, I refuse to call this mall by such a generic name.
Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN
The mall was officially opened in November, 1976.  Sears opened with the mall and has been there ever since.  More information about the mall and it’s history can be found by clicking the link to an article on Sky City by clicking HERE.  On January 4, 2017 it was announced that the Sears at Fort Henry Mall along with about 150 more Sears and Kmart stores would close in March. The local article announcing the closure can be found by clicking HERE
Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN I visited the store durring the third week of January and plan to visit one more time before the store closes in late March. Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN.
Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN
Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN

Magic Mart — Southside Mall, South Williamson, Kentucky

One of my first entries in this blog was an entry covering this mall.  I posted back in March of 2014.  That entry can be found by clicking  HERE.  This entry was posted when I was first beginning to gain an interest in retail history and trends.  Since then I have covered many more malls in at least 5 states on this blog.

Almost exactly 2 years after I posted the initial entry Magic Mart Stores announced the impending closure of the location at the mall.  The article announcing the store closure in the Williamson Daily News can be found by clicking HERE.  I knew I had to go visit at least one more time and pay my respects to the store. The following photos were taken on Sunday April 17, 2016.
Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky
Magic Mart has a long history with this immediate area of Williamson West Virginia and Belfry, Kentucky.   In fact, although Magic Mart is headquartered in Bluefield, West Virginia, its roots can be traced to this area.
Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky The company that would become Magic Mart was founded by the Ammar Family in 1920 when the Ammar brothers opened Ammar Brothers’ Department Store on Third Avenue in downtown Williamson, West Virginia. Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky
The local Magic Mart store was first located in the Appalachian Plaza in 1969. Then it moved toward Belfry along U.S. 119 in 1991, the location that is now a Tug Valley ARH clinic. From that spot it relocated to the South Side Mall at Goody, Ky. in 2005.
Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky
Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentuckyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/120051008@N03/26424689831/in/album-72157667214353331/” title=”Magic Mart — South Williamson, Kentucky”>Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky
Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky
Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky Magic Mart -- South Williamson, Kentucky
Long before this buidling served as the home for Magic Mart it was home to Kmart. Kmart opened with the mall in 1981 and closed in 2002 when Kmart Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection.

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Magic Mart currently has 21 stores open in 4 states, including 3 in Kentucky

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The final day of business for Magic Mart at Southside Mall is May 8th.

JC Penney — College Square Mall — Morristown, TN (1988-2016)

On January 16 of 2016 it was announced that the JC Penney store at College Square Mall would close, ending the companies presence in Morristown, a town where they had been in business since 1923.
College Square Mall -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
In February 1988 JC Penney would locate in the newly constructed College Square Mall co-anchoring the new mall with other national retailers including Sears and Walmart.
College Square Mall -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
The JC Penney store at College Square Mall closed its doors for good at the end of business on April 8.
College Square Mall -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
JC Penney -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
JC Penney -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
JC Penney -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Macy’s (former Hecht’s) — Greensboro, North Carolina

First Ill give a few bullet points about this store and it’s history

  • Opened in 2002 as Hecht’s
  • Became Macy’s in 2005
  • Located on Hornaday Road but its proximity to the Wendover Avenue Shopping area promted locals and even store officials to refer to this as Macy’s – Wendover
  • Closed for the last time on March 21, 2015
  • The other Macy’s in Greensboro is located at Friendly Center a mere 6 miles away.

This store still holds a place in my heart.  When I moved to Greensboro in 2007, the previous year my best friend had left a very specific type of leather jacket at a restaurant and to no avail was unable to get it back.  Flash forward a year to the Christmas of 2007 I was living a couple of miles from this store and decided to go in and see what I could find him for Christmas.

Macy's -- Wendover, Greensboro, North Carolina
Macy’s (Wendover) as it appeared days before its shuttering in March 2015

So long story short, I bought a replacement jacket for my best friend here.  Flash forward to 2015 and shortly after the new year it is reported that the Macy’s at  5410 Hornaday Road in Greensboro would be one of several closed in the spring.
Macy's --Wendover, Greensboro, NC Macy's -- Wendover, Greensboro, NC
Macys -- Wendover -- Greensboro, North Carolina
Macy's -- Wendover -- Greensboro, North Carolina
I visited the store on March 17th, 2015. By then the selection was mostly gone, the second floor had been closed and about 60% of the first floor had been roped off and all the merchandise had been consolidated to the middle of the store.

Flash forward to the weekend of December 12th and I was in Greensboro again.  For old times sake I had to stop by and grab a few shots of the Wendover Macy’s.  Enjoy.

MacysGSO3
Former Macy's -- Greensboro NC Former Macy;s -- Greensboro, NC
Former Macy's -- Greensboro, NC Former Macy's -- Greensboro, NC

If you are interested in more photos of this store from when it was in business I highly recommend checking out my friends over at livemalls and their facebook page.  They have a whole ablum dedicated to the Macys on Wendover.   You can access those photos by clicking HERE

Pennrose Mall — Rockingham County, North Carolina

This is the second dead mall that Ive covered in this blog in Rockingham County.  This mall is pretty much hidden away in the town of Reidsville about 20 miles north of Greensboro.

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Once again, Im not going to go into a big detailed write up about the mall’s history as I feel my friends over at Sky City have already done a fantastic job of doing that.  I will mention a few basic facts though:

  • The mall opened in the mid to late 1960s  With 1965 and 1968 being mentioned
  • The mall opened with two anchors, Roses (which remains today) and Winn-Dixie.
  • The Belk-Stevens opened in 1969 or 1970 and was added later
  • JC Penney later replaced the Winn Dixie in 1986 and closed in 2001

If you are interested in a more in depth discussion of the mall’s history and some more great photos check out the Sky City blog by clicking HERE

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Hibbitt’s closed here in December of 2014.

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They havent bothered taking down the sign inside the mall or outside the mall yet.

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As I mentioned before, JC Penney opened here in 1986 and closed in 2001.

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You have to give the mall owners credit for at least half decorating for Christmas.

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You have to wonder, with the current state of the mall

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and Belk no longer providing Mall access from their store…

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if this might be the last Christmas these decorations are used at the mall.

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As you can tell, lighting wasnt something the mall management was wasting money on during my visit.  The corridor leading down from Roses to Belk was very dark and not climate controlled either.

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The Hallmark store appears to be a fairly recent vacancy as well.

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But as you can tell, just as with the Hibbitts, the sign is still up inside the mall and out.

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This Roses has been in operation here since the late 1960s.  Probably one of the oldest in the chain.

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The Roses was pretty busy on this day.

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As I stated before, Belk(Stevens) opened here in 1969 or 1970.  There is no longer access to this store from the mall as these doors are closed.

 

With the way Belk has been closing smaller town stores, it really wouldnt shock me to hear of this stores closing in the near future.
Belk -- Pennrose Mall -- Reidsville, NC

Oddly enough, just before we came to this Belk we were at the store closing sale at Eden Mall….Christmas merchandise was 30% off there….It was 65% off here… Thats the kinda thing that makes you go hmmmmm?
Belk -- Pennrose Mall -- Reidsville, NC

They have updated this store at least a little bit, when compared to the Eden Mall store.
Pennrose Mall -- Reidsville, NC

As you can tell, in this shot, this mall isnt in the best of structural condition.

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And Belk has that little bitty entrance for the entire store.  It makes it feel like a closeout center or something.

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And I question the structural integrity of that awning to be honest.

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Westchester Mall / Providence Place — High Point, North Carolina

I refer to this as the mall that time and the Triad forgotten.

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The Westchester Mall opened to the public on Wednesday, April 22, 1970.  The mall was the first enclosed shopping mall in High Point and was anchored by Belk, JC Penney and Thalhimers ( a regional department store that operated in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee, that would eventually become Macy’s)   A photo of that store can be found by clicking HERE

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The mall remained a viable shopping destination until 1995 when Oak Hollow Mall (another dead mall that I will be covering on this blog in the coming days) opened up a few miles away and took with it JC Penney and Belk, leaving the Westchester Mall anchorless.

HighpointMall

Today the mall is called Towne Centre and is home to a couple of churches and a beauty parlor.  The mall is also connected to an assisted living center called Westchester Village.

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