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Market Pointe Centre, Bush River Road & I-20: 1980s etc   5 comments

Posted at 11:37 pm in historic,stores

I don't remember what name this mall had when it first opened, but I'm pretty sure it was not Market Pointe Centre. I think it was something that emphasized the initial theme of the place like Outlet Point Mall.

At a certain time in the 70s, it seemed that everything was going to "outlets", and outlet malls sprung up everywhere. The largest and most famous of these in South Carolina (the way I recall it anyway) was Waccamaw Pottery in Myrtle Beach, but there were many others. Market Pointe or Outlet Point or whatever it was, was Columbia's attempt to cash in on the trend. Frankly it was never a place I was really interested in because as far as I could tell, "Outlet" essentially meant "little clothes store", and I wasn't interested in clothes stores, big or little. I suppose there were non-clothes stores there, but what really interested me were bookstores, electronics stores or hardware stores, and I don't think there were any of those. Still, I would always end up there when my cousins made one of their whirlwind shopping trips to Columbia, and the place always seemed busy to me. Apart from the outlet stores, I remember they had Columbia's only "Orange Julius" kiosk, though I never got to try one.

Sometime in the 80s, I think, the "Outlet Mall" concept ran into hard times. I don't know why exactly, any more than I know why it came into vogue in the first place. Waccamaw Pottery went under, with the mostly empty buildings still sitting there in front of Hard Rock Park today. A mall very similar to Market Pointe went through several unsuccessful incarnations while I was living in Fayetteville, and Market Pointe itself started to struggle.

I never seemed to get back there to check it out (apparently few people did..), but my understanding is that they soldiered on as a mall for a good while with lots of empty storefronts, but the writing was on the wall. Even the success of locating Hamrick's there didn't help the rest of the mall, and parts of it have now gone to state government offices and parts of it are for sale.

Outlet malls still seem to be viable on I-95; I can think of one in Santee, a couple in Georgia and one up in either NC or VA. I'm not sure why I-95 works and I-20 didn't, but I'll speculate that I-95 gets a lot of vacation traffic, with people more in the mood to spend money while the east-west traffic on I-20 is less festive and free spending.

Or maybe people just don't want to shop at a place that manages to mispell two of the three words in its name.

Written by ted on April 29th, 2008

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5 Responses to 'Market Pointe Centre, Bush River Road & I-20: 1980s etc'

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  1. I think it's because of more people going to FL, on I-95. And the fact that Florida is a popular vacation destination

    James Greek

    21 Jun 09 at 12:54 am

  2. It seems as if several of the other tenants in Market Pointe Mall went under. I know there was a Plej's there at one point and that whole company liquidated. I think there were several others that happened to.

    Be that as it may, I seem to recall Dressbarn being there and they're still going, but I am not sure what their overall coprorate health is like (they just left Sparkelberry Square but are still going in Lexington).

    I also have a recollection of an antiques shop being in this mall (don't remember what it was called).

    Andrew

    20 Aug 12 at 11:38 am

  3. The original name was Outlet Pointe and Waccamaw Pottery was the "anchor" store. There were lots of stores in this mall, but it just never caught on. From what I understand, Hamrick's is leaving soon.

    Cindy

    29 Aug 12 at 9:52 pm

  4. ted

    29 Aug 12 at 10:28 pm

  5. this place opened around 1985 if i remember correctly. there was a shoe store with good deals on converse all stars. mostly though I remember going there during my high school years to skate board in the parking lot and behind the main building. i seem to remember a cement drainage ditch back there. anybody ever ask about the harbison ditch everybody skated at before columbiana mall opened?

    brett

    19 Sep 12 at 6:38 pm

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