That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

December 9, 2020

424. Black Friday though the years (Hampton/Newport News, VA), part 2, 1990-1999 (crosspost from my “history” blog)

A reminder of the movers and shakers and failures of the retail landscape of Hampton and Newport News back then: 

Coliseum Mall

Newmarket North / Newmarket Fair Mall 

Patrick Henry Mal

Bart is the star of 1990′s coverage. My mom loved Everything’s a $1.00 back then. It felt like we were at the Newmarket location every weekend when I was in the first grade. I found a copy of the Simpsons Christmas book there. K&K Toys was an unfortunate name for a store. 

Oh boy, this is the beginning of the end of Newmarket Fair Mall (formerly known as Newmarket North). They had just finished 10 months of remodeling, just to have several stores leave after their leases expired, and one of the anchor stores, Miller & Rhoads closed the year before. This is the final time in Daily Press history that Newmarket Fair Mall is mentioned in Black Friday coverage. 

1991

The Fisher-Price Game table! With the commercial where the boys played games on the table all day and half the night! 

This was the first year that Kmart decided to be redic. and stay open on Thanksgiving. My mom and I were there that day! This was the thanksgiving that my dad was out to sea, and mom decided that we would just eat at Piccadilly Cafeteria at Coliseum Mall that day and hit KMart later to pick up Home Alone on VHS. 

Note that Newmarket Fair wasn’t mentioned! 

President Bush bought some Reeboks and slime for the grandkids. 

1992

1992′s coverage was sparse. Rollerblade dolls were hot. 

1993

Roses got a shout out. This was right before they turned into a dump. Still a dump in 2020! Newmarket Fair which was one foot in the grave at this point, only receiving a quick Sears mention. Above is a Proffitt’s ad from 1996 that shows what the Cracker Jack sale was all about. Proffitt’s didn’t last long at Coliseum, closed in 1997 and then Dillard’s moved in. 

1994

This was the first year my paper went to WalMart, which is strange considering WalMart opened around 1991 in Hampton. Took them three years to get there. Maybe the Newport News location was new in 1994. There was a $139 VCR on sale at WalMart if you got there at six am. 

The Cracker Jack promo was back at Proffitt’s. I forgot that they had two separate stores in Coliseum Mall, because they took over the old Children’s Palace and Hess’s store. So if you needed women’s clothes and men’s clothes, you had to go clear across the mall for the men’s clothes.  

Our Super KMart got a mention too. 

1995 

1995 feels like the first year that the discount stores beat the malls in popularity on Black Friday.  Hills, which had just opened in Hampton was the the star in 1995. By January of 1997, they were toast. The store stayed vacant from 1997-2017 when an At Home store finally moved in. 

My mom and I actually went to Coliseum Mall on Black Friday that year. The first time I had ever been to the stores that day. I don’t remember it being that crazy.

1995 was also the last year someone said they were excited to go to Montgomery Ward. 

1996

Aw, weeks before Hills closed, and months after we got our first Target. Brenda forgot her shoes! Jeanie got her Tickle Me Elmo! Internet greetings at Patrick Henry Mall! People fought over a dinky gift bag at Target!: 

1997

Daily Press didn’t have the 1997 newspaper.

I saved this paper when I was 15! I’m surprised Montgomery Ward carried Furby. 

1999

Barely any mall coverage in 1999, mostly focusing on stores like Toys R Us and the guy who hoarded all those monitors at CompUSA. Check out Carol and her walkie talkie! 

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