That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

December 7, 2020

424. Black Friday though the years (Hampton/Newport News, VA), part 1, 1980-1989 [crosspost]

(cross post from my “history” blog)

I know everything is going wrong right now, and I know, priorities, but sometimes I really just miss going to the store. I didn’t do Black Friday in person this year, due to the obvious. I only went grocery shopping for my mom on Black Friday this year. 

(Woolco, 1980 or 1981) 

So beginning with the parade on Thanksgiving, I hopped on ProQuest and began looking at my local newspapers for their Black Friday coverage in the 80s and 90s. 

I’ll try and set up the retail landscape of the area to the best of my ability and using my retail blog for assistance. Here’s all my information about Newmarket North / Newmarket Fair Mall. It started dying in 1989 when local retailer Miller & Rhoads shut down. By 1994 it was pretty much toast other than Sears, and around 1997, the former anchor stores were renovated into offices. Now the mall is all offices, except for the empty Sears which closed in 2018 and was one of the last locations in the state, and the Piccadilly cafeteria. 

Coliseum Mall was the mall in the area until about 2003? when Burlington Coat Factory moved in at the old Montgomery Wards, and Dillards moved out. After that, things went downhill fast, and by 2007 the mall was town down, and was rebuilt into an open air shopping area with apartments and a big Target and a rebuilt JCPenney. 

1980

Shopping was “fast and furious” at Newmarket by 11am. The stores opened at … 8am. Toys R Us and Lionel Playworld were new to the area. 

1981

This is the only photo I’ve seen of this JCPenney location that was almost across the street from Newmarket North Mall, at the Newmarket South Shopping Center. I was surprised that it was still open in 1981, considering that Coliseum Mall had a giant JCPenney just a five minute drive away. 

1982

Five people had to direct traffic at Coliseum Mall! 

Unfortunately, ProQuest did not have the 1983 paper. Which I’m so mad about because I was born in 1983. 

1984

Back when there was traffic on Mercury Blvd. Also, can’t you imagine a giant six kid family coming out of that giant van in the parking lot?

1985

1985′s coverage was half-rear ended. It’s truly bizarre to me to picture Newmarket North being busy. By the time my first real memories begin in 1988, 1989, I never remembered the mall being “busy”. 

1986

Okay, so I had no clue that Sears was still selling real fur coats in their stores in 1986. I didn’t think Sears old fur coats all, even in the catalogs at this point. Miller & Rhoads had an on site fur vault at their Newmarket location. I wonder why those ladies weren’t picketing that.

1987

How could I forget 1987?! That was the year that the next town over, Newport News got their own mall: Patrick Henry Mall. Although in the beginning things seemed awfully slow according to this article.

Check out the Fisher Price vacuum cleaner a couple is buying at the Children’s Palace toy store at Coliseum Mall. I had one of those! 

1988

As I said earlier, my earliest memories begin in 1988, 1989. My parents did NOT go to Coliseum Mall back then, citing that it was always so crowded. So I have no memories of that mall until the mid 90s.

Nintendo Computer Games

1989

Wendy just wanted the 106 fm Wild Money Man. 

Facebook | Etsy | Retail History Blog | Twitter | |YouTube Playlist | Random Post digital tip jar | Instagram @ thelastvcr | other tumblr

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for sharing, good memories

    Comment by Christine Mayo — December 7, 2020 @ 7:05 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: