Archive for the ‘Clemson Road’ tag
I was having lunch at Panera in Sandhill Saturday when I heard someone in an adjacent booth talking about a clothing store that had closed shop recently. I didn't catch the name, but when I stepped outside I saw that it must have been Talbots on the other side of the street that sparked the conversation.
As I hate shopping for clothes in general, and am even more clueless about women's clothes, I really had no mental picture of where Talbots fit on the retail map. A bit of googling however revealed that it is a somewhat upscale chain largely for women over 30, and has been struggling financially for a while now.
There 's an old story, probably apocryphal, about a feed company that hired a top ad agency to design a campaign to sell its dog food. The ads were brilliant, won awards and everyone loved them, but sales plummeted. The company finally hired a troubleshooter who investigated and issued a succinct report: "The dogs don't like the dog food".
The Wall Street Journal gives as delicate a version of that quote as I have ever heard in the words of Talbots's CEO:
The predominant factors impacting our results were an inconsistent customer response to our merchandise assortments..
The article also goes on to posit a lose/lose situation:
The apparel retailer has been trying to freshen the look of its merchandise and broaden its appeal beyond its core audience of older women. But the approach may be turning them off while also not bringing in new customers.
Other papers speculate that the chain may be heading for a takeover, and mention that it is closing 110 of its 568 stores.
Talbots had three stores in the Columbia area. This one, one on Forest Drive and one on Saint Andrews Road. I drove by the Forest Drive store this evening and it is still there. I have not been by the Irmo location.
This upscale massage chain had several storefronts in Columbia which, as reported by commenter Jimmy, all went belly-up by early April. This one is at the corner of Clemson Road & Sparkleberry lane, on the upper level of the same building which also housed Za's, Cafe Corner Coffee and Vino 100.
I would guess these places are a casualty of the fact that massage (unless for an actual medical condition) is something of a luxury good, and is a hard to justify expense in a down economy. On the other hand, there certainly are local massage studios that still seem to be doing well.
(Hat tip to commenter Jimmy)
UPDATE 23 May 2011 -- Added night picture of lighted sign, which is still (so far) up and working.
"100 great wines for $25 or less" -- it sounds like a reasonable enough idea, but the as Corked found out, the area may not be ready for wine stores. Or possibly they sold their 100th bottle and achieved their mission.
Is there another two story retail gallery in the area? I can't think of one right now.
Golf Etc. at The Village at Sandhill, just south of Panera is gone now, and is already almost another mattress store. I actually had a picture of this place as Golf Etc., but appear to have deleted it in a fit of absence of mind.
I have to admit that I personally find golf (at least the kind without windmills and dinosaurs) much more soporific than mattresses anyway.
This coffee shop, at the corner of Sparkleberry Lane and Clemson Road, and in the same building as the former Za's pizza was one of those places that seemed to have adopted the business strategy of never being open. You know the kind of place -- you're sure they're not out of business, yet every time you drive by the lights are off. Now maybe my view is skewed by Starbucks and expecting a coffee shop to at least be open while it's still light outside during the summer, but my experience is that every time I found myself driving home from Sandhill via I-20 and really wanted a cup of coffee, they were shut. The one exception was when I was in the area around lunch time and found they did, in fact, make a decent latte.
At any rate, they are now definitely closed 24/7
Corked at Sandhill is out of business. Their web site is still up and announces the closing, though it doesn't list the actual final day. I have no idea of Corked's circumstances, but it seems to me that, in general, Sandhill would be a poor place for a beer and wine shop in that it's not near home, or on the way home, or easy to get into and out of if it is on your way home. I would think 9 times out of 10, it would just be easier to stop by a grocery store -- Sandhill is a shopping destination, not somewhere to zip into and out of.
(Hat tip to commenter Cheryl)
I first wrote about this space at Sparkleberry Crossing in the closing for Al-Amir (which has since returned to the north east with a Sandhill location). I believe Al-Amir was the first tenant in the space, and the interior design somewhat reflected their Mediterranean/Middle Eastern heritage, which you can still see in the shape of the internal windows here. If you look at the Al-Amir link, you'll also see a tile fountain in the center of the foyer. I think that Mirage kept that for at least part of it's tenure, but as you can see here, it is now gone.
Mirage was one of those odd places that never seem to be open when you go by, but never seem to be out of business either. In fact, at least twice I saw the place looking deserted with no cars in its part of the lot and went so far as to park and get out the closing-cam only to walk up to the doors and see that although it was not open, it wasn't out of business either. Maybe it was the name. After all, a "mirage" is something that appears to be there, but is really not..
UPDATE 10 April 2013 -- It's to be Henry's:
This Food Lion at the corner of Clemson and Hard Scrabble Roads ("The Crossings") has been closed at least since 14 Jan 2010 when commenter Jason noted it, so I'm guessing it probably moved late in 2009. According to commenter Elizabeth, it moved to a location on Hard Scrabble Road. I didn't go looking for that since driving out there today confirmed to me (once again!) how painful it is to move around in the Clemson and Hard Scrabble areas.
Surprisingly given all the store closings they have done in Columbia, the Blockbuster video rental store is still open in this hard to get to location. I don't wish them any ill, but I went ahead and took some pictures of the store that I suspect I'll need at some point.
Well, this is not a good week for restaurants. This is the third restaurant closing in a row I've done, and all of them very recent instead of 20 years ago...
I first wrote about this building almost exactly two years ago when D's Wings Northeast closed.
7 Grill was the next tenant there, and opened about six months ago. Their web site is still up, and I have to say the menu looks pretty good. Unfortunately I never got there partly because it is a good ways to drive and partly from just forgetting that it was there.
Sparkleberry Crossing seems to be having a bit of trouble really getting established and a number of operations have come and gone there. It's not a bad location -- there's fairly easy access from I-20, the connector with Two Notch isn't bad, and there's driveby traffic heading to Sandhill, but somehow businesses keep going under there.
(Hat tip to commenter O'Reilly)