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Sears, Columbia Mall: September 2017   29 comments

Posted at 12:15 am in closing

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As I remarked to my sister, they have been closing this store for years. You could say it started when they did away with the roasted nuts counter, part of the classic heritage that had followed them from Harden Street, but that half-joking aside, it was really apparent in recent years that the store was being hollowed out: there was less and less stock, and more and more empty space. It never got as bad as Belk at Dutch Square with a whole floor abandoned, but it was impossible not to notice. Then, several years ago, they decided it wasn't worth keeping the store open for all the hours that the mall was, and you'd find the mall doors drawn during normal business hours. This year, Sears as a whole finally put Going Concern language in their financial report, and when the latest list of store closings came out, I can't imagine anyone was surprised to see this store on it.

The closing of Sears will leave Columbia Mall with only one anchor store, and Macy's isn't looking that robust either lately.

UPDATE 13 September 2017 -- The place is now emptied out, though there seemed to still be a good number of trucks and other hauling type vehicles in the parking lot on 9 September 2017 when these pictures were taken:

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Written by ted on June 23rd, 2017

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29 Responses to 'Sears, Columbia Mall: September 2017'

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  1. I was there early today. My dad use too take me here all the time growing up. I got to play the latest demos for some of the my favorite games from this store. Sucks to see it finally come to an end.

    Matthew Benjamin

    23 Jun 17 at 2:36 am

  2. There was a time when Sears was, in a sense, Amazon.com. They had one main facility and people could either have their catalogue (aka wish book) sent to their house or could go down to a general store and order things from it there and have it picked up at the store. Then Sears started adding brick and mortar stores and catalogue centers, the latter mainly in small towns, where people could order and pick up items. In some of the larger centers, heavy appliances would be on display. I even remember one that provided auto care. The rest, most of us know.
    Now Amazon is following Sears pattern, building brick and mortar stores and acquiring Whole Foods, which many experts believe will now double as pick up and order centers (not unlike the old Sears catalogue stores.) The only question in my mind is how far will history repeat itself?

    Tom

    23 Jun 17 at 7:01 am

  3. I used to love the Sears catalog. I'd order and then get to pick it up in a few days. So many things that they didn't carry in store.

    Mrbill

    23 Jun 17 at 1:02 pm

  4. I still have my 1975 Sears wishbook catalog featuring the new Atari gaming system!

    John

    23 Jun 17 at 3:14 pm

  5. The Sears Wishbook was the go to reference guide for toys growing up.

    This is a great site where they have put catalogs online, starting with 1937 and going through the early '90s.

    https://www.wishbookweb.com/the-catalogs/

    ED

    23 Jun 17 at 5:24 pm

  6. 20 more closings announced today:

    http://fortune.com/2017/06/23/sears-stores-2/

    ted

    23 Jun 17 at 5:39 pm

  7. It has now been 15 years since Columbia Mall was officially renamed Columbia Place and I feel like the mall has been on a (mostly) downward trajectory since.

    Since then, Dillard's, JC Penney and now Sears have departed said mall. Dillard's remains vacant. JC Penney's space was originally split between Steve & Barry's and Burlington Coat Factory but Steve & Barry's liquidated companywide a few years back but Burlington remains there (and was forgotten to be mentioned on the whole remaining anchor stores list).

    Also, Columbia Place Mall has lost Old Navy, Chick-Fil-A, Schiano's and Piccadilly in recent years (and I'm sure some other lesser known stores as well)...

    One time I was in this Sears it seemed like a significant portion of the upstairs was already kinda thin and portions of it curtained off (I seriously thought it looked like liquidation was underway but the signage was missing)...another time the elevator looked/felt like it was original to the mall's 1977 construction.

    What is now known as Columbia Place mall is 40 years old this year but it's not an exciting 40th anniversary for the Dentsville area mall...

    Andrew

    23 Jun 17 at 8:56 pm

  8. Well Andrew, that 40 years went by with a blink of the eyes. I recall prior to construction Two Notch Road had to be widened and a couple of people I knew were paid a handsome price for their homes so they could be razed.

    Columbia Mall was THE go-to place back then in town. I am not sure how much traffic it stole from Dutch Square when it opened but 1/2 of Columbia no longer needed to make the long trip out Bush/Broad River Road.

    Joe Shlabotnik

    24 Jun 17 at 3:34 am

  9. same thing is happening at my local sears and kmart there closing our last kmart in september and ours sears is completely closed and back in march our second kmart closed for good

    Sean Spangler

    24 Jun 17 at 8:25 am

  10. You could actually order a house from Sears and have it delivered to you. It was a kit that could be built on site with everything pre-cut. I've seen ads for as little as $2,000 for a complete home. I am assuming you had to hire a builder to assemble it, or maybe Sears supplied one for an additional cost. At any rate, Sears sold more than 70,000 houses through their catalog between 1908 and 1940. I am really surprised they did not extend into the post-WWII housing boom. Some of the designs were pretty awesome.

    James R

    26 Jun 17 at 10:33 pm

  11. Sears was the last original store in Columbia Mall. Does anyone remember the baseball card shop in the middle of the lower level in there back in the '80s.
    Now there is no reason to go to that mall, except for Rich's...er Macy's. Is it still the only one in Columbia?
    In middle school, we used to go to the Columbia Mall movie theaters and then to the mall and Aladdin's Castle arcade where the food court is now.

    palmettoconnection

    27 Jun 17 at 12:45 pm

  12. @palmettoconnection: Yep, the Columbia Place Macy's is still the only one we have.

    Toby

    27 Jun 17 at 8:08 pm

  13. I recall seeing somewhere (idk where) that Columbia Place's Macy's is one of only either 2 or 3 in the state of SC...

    Andrew

    28 Jun 17 at 9:49 pm

  14. I know there is another Macy's outside Columbia, I just can't remember.

    Toby

    29 Jun 17 at 7:42 pm

  15. There is one in Greenville, SC.

    ken holler

    30 Jun 17 at 4:41 am

  16. I went by Sears at lunch today and all I can say is that they better start discounting stuff even more if they want to get rid of it. Lawn and garden equipment 15% off. Had to be off MSRP as the prices were still higher than any other MTD, Poulan or Husqvarna mower in town. They still had tons of appliances. Didn't look at them but they were probably around 15% as well. Everything that's marked down is already picked over or gone. Walked a little way out into the mall, got disgusted at what it has become and went back to work. They should rename it Section 8 Mall.

    Homer

    6 Jul 17 at 10:09 pm

  17. Can anyone help???? Was the name of the strip mall next to Columbia Mall name Capital Center? The one where Circuit City used to be. I rode through there at lunch and had completely forgotten there used to be movie theaters over there. What was the name of those? Also does anyone remember a club called Elements that used to be there as well. I notice the name on a door but, for the life of me, I can't remember what kind of club it was. Nothing in there now but garbage shops and at least three Holy Roller churches.

    Homer

    6 Jul 17 at 10:14 pm

  18. ted

    6 Jul 17 at 11:20 pm

  19. I should have known you had a post for it. Thanks, Ted.

    Homer

    7 Jul 17 at 12:04 am

  20. That mall had a Mexican styled restaurant called "Cuco's" in the 1990s. Really liked that place. If you hung a right going into the parking lot, it would be right there. It might have been the club you're thinking about. It has been a number of clubzz over the yearzz.

    Brave to entering the bowels of Columbia 'Place' Mall. When I do, I strut around like Richard Pryor in 'Stir Crazy'. "That's right! We bad!"

    badger

    7 Jul 17 at 10:35 am

  21. ~homer....That strip mall was always dying even before it was built. I went to the movie theaters once, but not the club. I think it was just a club club with VIP where people get shot and stuff.
    There was a Johnny's Jungle pet store at the top of this strip mall in the early '90s, and I am pretty sure there was a large Service Merchandise in the free standing building by where Circuit City was back then as well. I think it's a discount furniture place, or maybe even empty now.
    Is Toys R Us still over by the mall?
    I remember when the Circuit City was on Two Notch at the Columbia Mall entrance north of Best Buy. Then it moved to the strip mall. Then it died. RIP CC & Blockbuster.

    palmettoconnection

    7 Jul 17 at 2:42 pm

  22. I went to the Sears closing sale last week and everything was only 20% off. The tools and lawn & garden sections were already fairly picked over.

    They must have an overstock of cordless weedwhackers and cordless chainsaws. They had a large selection and it didn't look to be a big seller. A lithium battery powered chain saw has never made much sense as I've always figured it would cut out at the absolute worst time.

    The employees didn't want to stay any longer than they had to either. They started paging every 5 minutes at 8:30 to make sure the store was empty by 9.

    Matt Aslin

    7 Jul 17 at 4:28 pm

  23. My memories of Capitol Center are as follows (besides the tag ted linked earlier):

    I understand that Service Merchandise that was there but I never got to shop it when it was there...it was mentioned on the Aliens & Alibris page (but it was done before ted started tagging posts)...

    Circuit City was one of several stores that was located along Decker/Columbia Place Mall that moved out to Spring Valley/Village at Sandhill area in the 2002-06 timeframe...Circuit City moved out to Sparkelberry Square until they liquidated and Best Buy subsequently opened in their former space...several others did such as Target, Kroger, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, JC Penney, Pier 1 Imports and TJ Maxx.

    Value City Furniture is (last I knew) in Capitol Centre but I don't deal with Columbia Place Mall very often...

    Spinoso has their work cut out for them to try to figure out how to turn things around but as I've said before, I believe the community reputation of Columbia Place Mall is their biggest obstacle.

    Andrew

    7 Jul 17 at 4:31 pm

  24. Toys R Us did feature here and it closed something app. 10-15 years ago but is now home to Virginia College (which is one of those for profit schools)...

    Andrew

    7 Jul 17 at 4:36 pm

  25. @badger -- Cucos

    ted

    11 Jul 17 at 12:18 am

  26. I can confirm for you folks that Sears signage has been removed from the building so this Sears is no more after 4 decades in this mall...

    Andrew

    13 Sep 17 at 11:00 pm

  27. Was Sears the last remaining original Columbia Mall store?

    ted

    13 Sep 17 at 11:48 pm

  28. @ted - I'm pretty sure you are right....

    Homer

    14 Sep 17 at 12:24 am

  29. John

    14 Sep 17 at 11:48 am

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