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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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. 

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November 17, 2015

“Our Snow Bear Scrapbook: Memories and Recipes from Thalhimers” (Elizabeth and Sallie Thalhimer), 2000

Filed under: Christmas,dead chains,Richmond — Anita @ 10:05 pm

  
Aw, that part made me sad.
Snow Bear lives on. The blog entry from Elizabeth is from 2012, but apparently he still works at the Repertory Theater in Richmond.  

October 24, 2015

Look Back: Christmas shopping – Daily Press

A long-standing holiday tradition – shopping!

Source: Look Back: Christmas shopping – Daily Press

December 14, 2014

Mohawk Mall ad, December 3, 1986

Filed under: Christmas,deadmalls.com,newspaper clippings,other malls — Anita @ 8:03 pm

Screen shot 2014-12-14 at 8.01.10 PM

(source)

Mohawk was one of the first malls mentioned on deadmalls.com about 10+ years ago.

 

At page 48, there is a salespaper for the mall:

(more…)

December 13, 2014

The Pittsburgh Press, December 1, 1991

Filed under: Christmas,dead chains,drugstores,newspaper clippings — Anita @ 12:08 am

Here is the entire paper. The ads start around page 130-ish. 

I’m going to have some Christmas Cookies from Trader Joes while the images upload.
Trader Joes pfeffernüsse cookies
I used to think these were called "sing a long" lights

When I was little, I thought these were called Sing a Long Lights, and when you plugged them in, tinny sounding xmas music would emit from them.

Brooks Pharmacy, December 1, 1991 (pittsburgh press)

Look at all the exclamation perfume. I finally bought some last weekend at WalMart, they had the small bottles for $3.

xmas with the Turtles (Ames, December 1, 1991)

Xmas with the Turtles at Ames.

Woolworth, December 1, 1991 Pittsburgh Press

This woolworth paper was specifically for mall locations in the area. Hence, the nicer merchandise, like the NES, SNES, and Game Boy. Pretty sure my Woolworth in Hampton, VA never had merchandise this nice. I do remember them selling Rollerblades at my location.

Revco used to be all about the nutcrackers (12/1/1991)

Revco used to be all about the nutcrackers.

VCR Plus (12/1/1991

Did the VCR Plus really work? It seems so much easier and cheaper back then to learn how to use the timer record function.

November 26, 2014

“A eulogy for RadioShack, the panicked and half-dead retail empire”

Filed under: Christmas,potential dead chains — Anita @ 12:26 pm

By Jon Bois:

I said that a lot of working at RadioShack felt like guard duty. One week, it was actual guard duty: a RadioShack in a stone-dead mall was scheduled to close in a week, and all its employees had already bailed, so they sent me there to manage it for a few days.

The first day, I opened the store for 12 hours, and not a single person walked in. The second day, a guy bought a watch battery, and the store revenue for the week upped to $2.99. It didn’t take me long to pull out the desk chair from the back room, have a seat in the middle of the store, rewire the display TVs, and watch MacGyver on satellite.

And it’s true that I was making pennies above minimum wage, but it’s also true that my job was to go to a building, turn on the lights, sit there, be the boss of myself, watch a shitload of MacGyver, and go home. MacGyver is an awesome show and I will never have a better week of work than that one.

On the second-to-last day there, I left the store empty for 30 seconds so I could use the bathroom, and within those 30 seconds, someone sprinted in and straight-up stole the cash drawer and the $300 inside of it. In a panic, I called the district office to let them know.

Their response, more or less, was, “eh, whatever.” Damn it, I could have just taken it myself. I could have given myself a $300 raise for watching the dang MacGyver.

Read more…

December 22, 2013

Never forget the Crazy Black Friday Target lady commercials

Filed under: Christmas,commercials,Target — Anita @ 8:25 pm

Screen shot 2013-12-22 at 8.24.43 PM

Crazy Black Friday Target Lady Playlist – YouTube.

November 1, 2012

Hickory Farms

Filed under: Christmas,commercials,newmarket fair mall — Anita @ 9:31 pm

I was watching this commercial break from 1980, and saw a real deal mall location Hickory Farms, something that has been extinct since at least the mid to late 1990s.

Newmarket North/Newmarket Fair Mall in Hampton, Virginia had one when it was first opened in 1975, and it shuttered around the time the mall really began to die around 1994, 1995:

 

hickoryfarms-1

November 24, 2011

Two black Friday examples of why Kmart sucks

Filed under: Christmas,Kmart,newspaper clippings,potential dead chains — Anita @ 2:24 pm

I saw these two in today’s sales papers and I laughed:

20111124-142425.jpg

Obviously Kmart is still stuck in 1991

And of course, Kmart is stuck in 1997

…and in 1997.

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