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Rancho Grande, 1809 South 5th Street Hartsville: May 2017   no comments

Posted at 2:36 am in closing

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I never actually ate at Rancho Grande, but I was aware of it as we would drive by on the way to visit relatives, and they mentioned eating there from time to time. I'm pretty sure the building started life as a national brand steakhouse, possibly a Western Sizzling.

Hartsville has urbanized to a surprising extent this millennium, but when this was built, the area was still quite rural and I'm sure the out-of-town location was chosen because it is at the intersection of US-15 Bypass and US-15 Business, something quite important before the Interstates.

The restaurant's Facebook page indicates that it closed around 17 May 2017, though I am unable to explain the wreath on the door which would otherwise indicate a post-Holiday-Season closing. The page also directs patrons to Neuva Villa which is apparently owned by the same family.

Written by ted on October 20th, 2018

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2nd Player Video Games, 10240 Two Notch Road Suite 2: 27 October 2018   no comments

Posted at 1:24 am in closing

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Given how many classic arcade games I played in college (Galaga, anyone?), it's a bit odd that I never got into PC or console games. Perhaps it's because I sit in front of a computer all day, perhaps it's just that reading is too much fun and takes too much time. However that all washes out, it means I never visited this Two Notch video game storefront, but I see that you have one more week to stop by and get 50% off.

Written by ted on October 19th, 2018

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Portrait Innovations, 201 Harbision Boulevard Suite 130: 2018   no comments

Posted at 12:18 am in closing

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This storefront is in that faux Tudor little strip of Harbision around the Bower Parkway intersection. Portrait Innovations listed in the 2018 phonebook, so I'm pegging the closing as this year. From what I can see Portrait Innovations is a national photography chain, and there is still apparently a store at Sandhill.

Written by ted on October 18th, 2018

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Matress Firm 106 Percival Road Suite 100: October 2018   no comments

Posted at 11:59 pm in closing

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That was pretty quick work. The pictures of the store in operation were taken on 9 October 2018, and by 16 October, the signage is down and the store is empty save for a few mattresses stacked against the front wall -- No closing sale, no bargains, just gone.

This is the second vacancy in the still fairly new Jackson Square (which replaced, most recently, Liquids Gentlemen's Club). Earlier in the year, the adjacent Tijuana Flats closed, and has yet to be replaced.

Written by ted on October 16th, 2018

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Sears Declares Bankruptcy   10 comments

Posted at 1:15 am in commentary

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Well, in a surprise to noone, Sears has declared bankruptcy:

Sears Holdings Corp. filed early Monday for bankruptcy protection from creditors, marking the collapse of a company that dominated American retailing for much of the 20th century.

The retailer, which sought chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., reached a deal with its lenders that will allow the 125-year-old company to keep hundreds of its stores open for now.

As part of the deal, Sears is expected to close at least 150 stores immediately, according to people familiar with the matter. Currently, the company operates roughly 700 Sears and Kmart stores. It employs about 70,000 people.

Of course Sears has basically already exited the Midlands, but there are still a couple of Kmart stores hanging on in the area.

Anyway, it's a far cry from the days of "As Solid As Sears", and it didn't really have to happen. If Walmart can do it, and Target can do it, that, at the least, proves it's possible. And one of the ironies is that probably about the time Amazon started to spin up, all the people at Sears who knew how to run a catalog operation were retiring..

Written by ted on October 16th, 2018

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Think I'll Pass   1 comment

Posted at 1:12 am in commentary

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Written by ted on October 13th, 2018

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Spring Valley Liquor Store & Party Shop, 8712 Two Notch Road   1 comment

Posted at 12:10 am in closing

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I kind of like the folklore quality of identifying liquor stores with red dots. I think it was more a legal thing, at least at one time, than were the barber pole, the pawnbroker's trio of balls and the medical cross & caduceus, but it falls in that category nonetheless. Anyway, this store, not far from the antique mall, is listed in the 2018 phonebook, so it either closed this year, or after listings closed last year.

Written by ted on October 12th, 2018

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Mattress Firm, 131 Harbison Boulevard Suite A: Fall 2018   18 comments

Posted at 11:36 pm in closing

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Apart from all the conspiracy theories, apparently the ubiquitious Mattress Firm just thought that Nothing succeeds like excess. It's not always a terrible business model. For instance, if you see two Circle K stores located across from each other, the thought is that This is a busy intersection, and *somebody* is going to put a gas station across from us to catch cars going the other way -- it might as well be *us*.

It can be more problematic for something like mattresses, which aren't a convenience purchase, or as the Houston Chronicle puts it:

Why store-on-every-corner strategy didn’t work for Mattress Firm:

Mattress Firm, as it gobbled up rivals and tripled its store count to more than 3,300 locations, seemed to have a storefront on every block — sometimes two storefronts. In its quest to become the biggest player in the $15 billion U.S. bedding industry, it pursued a strategy of clustering shops close together with the aim of crowding out competition.

It didn’t work.

The Houston retailer said as much when it filed for bankruptcy Friday, acknowledging that it operates too many stores and plans to shutter as many as 700 locations as it tries to get out from under $3.2 billion in debt through its Chapter 11 filing, which allows companies to restructure operations and finances while protecting them from creditors.

“I think they’re humbled,” said Seth Basham, an analyst with Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities. “They grew far too fast with ambitions to be a national retailer.”

The Wall Street Journal has some more details including that the crisis is a world wide one in some sense:

The bankruptcy marks a rapid fall for the once high-flying bedding retailer and Steinhoff, the South Africa-based retail conglomerate that has been called “Africa’s IKEA.” Steinhoff, whose purchase of Mattress Firm marked its entry into the U.S. market, has been caught up in an accounting scandal that erupted in December. Its creditors, who hold billions of dollars of the company’s bonds, agreed to suspend all payments on its debt for three years. Steinhoff is expected to launch a debt restructuring for its European business in the U.K. later this month.

Commenter Andrew supplies a link that lists the South Carolina stores affected (so far). For the record, they are:

7381 Rivers Ave., Ste 102 Charleston SC
131 Harbison Blvd., Ste 100 Columbia SC
6208A Garners Ferry Road Columbia SC
106 Percival Road, Ste 100 Columbia SC
5075 Sunset Blvd Lexington SC
2391 Dave Lyle Blvd, Suite 106 Rock Hill SC

This particular store is next to Jimmy Johns, more or less near the top of the Harbison hill going towards Saint Andrews Road. As of yet, they have not posted any closing signage.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on October 10th, 2018

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Generations Bakery & Catering / Hungry Moments, 1583 Broad River Road: 2017   no comments

Posted at 11:08 pm in closing

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Well, I find this a bit surprising: I go by Boozer Shopping Center fairly frequently, but somehow I entirely missed a new restaurant in there until it had already closed.

It appears that down-home/soul-food joint Hungry Moments started sometime around April 2016, and lasted at least until March of 2017, when the last Yelp review appears. The reviews are mixed, but it seems if you hit it at the right time, you could get a good old-fashioned Southern meal.

I also apparently missed the previous tenant in this slot, Generations Bakery & Catering.

UPDATE 20 October 2018: Added picture of Boozer marquee.

Jim Hudson Hyundai, 310 Greystone Boulevard: June 2018   3 comments

Posted at 11:58 pm in closing

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Commenter James R notes the sale of Jim Hudson Hyundai on Greystone to Peacock Hyundai as of June.

This is just down from the old Stivers location, but unlike that closing, will not be taking a new car dealership off Greystone, which, I think, used to have quite a few more than it does now.

I do find it a little interesting in that Peacock is a bit of an unusual name for a dealership, which tend to have a human name (usually a man's) associated with the brand.

(Hat tip to commenter James R)

Written by ted on October 8th, 2018

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