Archive for the ‘Dutch Square Boulevard’ tag
The chain is pitching it as doubling down on their Columbiana location, especially after getting extra space in the former Sears. However, they have had extra space in the Dutch Square store for *years*, and I believe if they had thought that store was viable, they could have re-opened the closed off spooky third floor (empty now except the hair salon and mens' room):
This closing pretty much puts the fork in the "mall" part of Dutch Square, and I would not be at all surprised to see the theater and Burlington closing their doors to the interior. (Office Depot already lacks interior access).
(Hat tip to commenter skysguy)
UPDATE 24 December 2014 -- All of the closing signage is up, and the store is half empty. If you want to buy some racks, step ladders, office chairs or nude mannequins, now's your chance. I'm not surprised fixtures aren't returnable, but I did find it a bit curious that regular merchandise is not returnable either, given we still have two local Belk's.
19 December 2014:
UPDATE 4 February 2015 -- The closure is complete:
UPDATE 10 September 2015 -- Interestingly, the building still isn't quite cleaned out:
GB Shoe is currently closed for renovations, and unlike many places claiming such and then vanishing, there actually are renovations underway. In fact, if things go to schedule, they should be open again next week.
GB is in the old Dutch Square A&P building, and as part of the Dutch Square property, has a really odd address. We are to think of it as 421 Bush River Road, when the actual store has no access to Bush River, and does have access to Broad River!
By the way, does anyone know what GB stands for (or stood for)?
(Hat tip to commenter Justin)
UPDATE 20 February 2014 -- Open again, as promised, and as reported by commenter Andrew:
Sewing & crochet shop Hook 'n Needle was a long-time retail stalwart at Intersection Center. In fact, I'm pretty sure they were the last shop there to either go under or move. Happily, the latter applies here, and at some point this year, Hook 'n Needle moved to the North-West corner of Boozer Shopping Center.
The first three pictures of the old location are from 29 August 2008, the fourth is from 4 September 2010 and the last three are from 24 September 2011.
The church rebuilding Intersection Center continues to make good progress, and hopefully I'll have some pictures of the repurposed Service Merchandise and the new fountain up soon.
Why this was, I don't know. A camera store, even a smaller one (but more than a film drop-off) could easily draw foot traffic inside the mall as well as any number of other specialized stores that had inside access, and there were other fast-food operations inside, such as Orange Julias, Chick-Fil-A and lunch counters at Edkerd's and Woolworth's.
At any rate, Baskin-Robbins soldiered on with its odd location for a good number of years until around 1996. I noticed some activity in the store recently (first picture), and it turns out that it is to be reopened (or perhaps already is) as a barber shop.
UPDATE 9 September 2011: Commenter Weston points out I was wrong about the 96-ish closing date, I've changed it to something less specific (Late 90s/Early 2000s) for now.
(Commenter Andrew sent in a link to a much better map [above], than the scan of the handout at the mall I originally used [below], and the numbers are the same, so I'm adding it).
Well, I finally had a chance to go looking in some old City Directories for information about Dutch Square. I was looking at about 5 year intervals, and only had time to get up to 1997 before the library closed, so rather than a "Dutch Square: Then & Now" post, this is a "Dutch Square: Then & Then" one.
The 1971 directory is the first one to list Dutch Square, but notice that it uses completely different suite numbers than the later listings I have here. And all the City Directory listings use different suite numbers than Dutch Square itself uses on its current handout map.
In any event, it's not always possible to do a complete mapping of the old numbers to the current floor-plan as there has been a good bit of remodeling over the years (for example, the Woolco space being broken up), and some of the old exterior-only slots like Jackson Camera and Baskin Robbins don't seem to be pictured on the current map. That said, here is a mapping of some of the City Directory to Map numbers that I'm pretty sure of:
|21||176 (part of)|
UPDATE 17 June 2011: Added the leaseplan map from a link provided by commenter Andrew.
UPDATE 21 June 2011: Added [at top] an artist's conception of the original Dutch Square from an old Chamber of Commerce promotional book.
Radio Shack has been at Dutch Square since the mall opened, though not always in this location. I'm a bit hazy on the old layout, but think the original site was a bit further up the hill towards Tapp's. At any rate, as reported by commenter Andrew some time ago, they have now relocated this store from Dutch Square to the new Wal-Mart plaza, Bush River Village.
I believe this pull-out leaves The Rogue hair stylist as the only store which has been in the mall from the beginning.
(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)
Gabby's Pizza replaced D'Avino's Pizzaeria (which closed in September 2009) in the little doorless corner spot across from the former Chick-Fil-A. On the face of it, this seems like one of the better spots in Dutch Square, as it sits just down from the movie theaters so that you could grab a slice before your show, but in practice apparently no so much.
While I don't know this for a fact, the name "Gabby's" is unusual enough when associated with pizza that I'm sure this outfit was connected with Gabby's Pizza & Buffet which recently closed at Fashion Place on Decker Boulevard.
(Hat tip to commenter Kc)
I've posted pictures before of the older style, steeple-topped A&P stores. This one, on a Dutch Square outparcel was one in the "new" style A&P adopted before leaving the South Carolina market. (I'm not counting the "supercenter" type stores such as in North Myrtle Beach).
I don't believe I ever went into this store. I certainly spent plenty of time at Dutch Square as I've mentioned in a number of posts, but during most of that period I was a tween or teen, fixated on books and music, and hardly shopping for groceries at all (not to mention that Dutch Square was on the other side of town from our usual grocery destinations). I'm guessing the 1990s as the (vague) closing date for this store, but it could as easily have been the 1980s.
I think that after this store closed, the area was actually pretty grocery-less, with no stores I can think of in the same general vicinity. (Food Lion had a Bush River Road store, but it closed too).
UPDATE 12 March 2011: Updated closing date based on commenter Andrew's research.
Does Kmart even have a business stragegy anymore? Fabian tactics work if your opponnent needs to keep sending home for men, money and elephants, none of which is the case for Wal Mart, whose new store on the site of the old Bush RIver Mall doomed this Kmart location. If your strategy is "close a store whenever Wal Mart opens one", you might as well just turn the lights off now. I remember the bluelight.com strategy during the dot-com bubble, and the Martha Stewart strategy before she went to jail, but what is it now?
Hardee's decided to not go head-on with or try to out-McDonald McDonald's with their "Thickburger" campaign, and seem to have gotten some traction with it. Target seems to have found a viable "almost as cheap as Wal Mart, but nicer" strategy, why can't Kmart? You would think that after all the effort and money they spent buying Sears they could leverage that brand somehow, or they could always rebrand their stores with the historic and fondly remembered S. S. Kresge nameplate and try to refocus that way.
I've never run so much as a hot-dog cart, so I can't pretend to know the answer, if indeed there is one, but keeping old looking, poorly stocked stores like this one open without any refits until Wal Mart moves in isn't it!
I suppose it wouldn't bother me except I have a certain residual fondness for Kmart since we shopped a good bit there while I was growing up. Mostly it was the Two Notch or Fort Jackson stores, but if we were on the right side of town, it could be this one as well. Kmart is the only store I've ever been lost in, the store I brought my first LP in (The Beach Boys 2-disc "Endless Summer" for $5.25) and the first place I would go when shopping on my own if I ever needed a hammer or a light bulb or anything like that. I even remember the old-style "Blue Light Specials" where they would literally drag a flashing blue light cart to the shelves with the special promotion items.
Oh well, or as the clerks used to be remided with a sticker on the register: TYFSAK.
UPDATE 19 Aug 2009 -- Well, I guess they do have a stragegy:
or perhaps it's just a hope, "Savings Are Here to Stay". And I'm pretty sure that's not how to spell Arrowwood.
UPDATE 14 Septmber 2009: Added an older, but better hilltop picture above.
UPDATE 9 November 2009:
Well the store finally closed yesterday evening. As it happened, I was in the area having had lunch at Fuddruckers, so I stopped by. The store was basically operating out of a small square area in front that was formed with walls of shelving moved to semi-enclose the space. They weren't actually keeping people out of the back part of the store, just indicating that there was nothing to buy back there, so I walked around behind the area to get some pictures of the vast empty spaces.
As the final half hour of the store's life started, the announcer came on and said that everything was now 95% off. I hadn't really planned to buy anything, and indeed there wasn't much left to buy, but anytime there's a 95% off sale, some sort of "There must be something I can use" reflex kicks in, and I started actually looking on the shelves.
In the event, I found some of those electrical sockets that you screw into edison-base light fixtures to make them into electrical outlets -- something I need every ten years or so, and got a number of those. I also picked up some of those "make one phone jack into two phone jacks" plugs, a Rand McNally map, and some sort of Disney Hannah Montanna memory card that claims to have songs on it though I'm not even sure I have a reader for that format.
As I was checking out, the announcer was saying, "and if you know anyone who's hiring, let your cashier know", which was sad, but I suppose very appropos.
After I left, I went over to Dutch Square for a little while then came to the parking lot to take an exterior picture of the storefront and roadside sign. Then it occurred to me to drive up to the Dutch Square parking lot again, and take a few shots from the hill over Hardee's.
The blue-light is now dark.
UPDATE 22 August 2012 -- As mentioned by commenter Andrew, something is going on at this old Kmart. The front doors have been boarded up, but with a new access, and there are construction dumpsters out front. I don't know if the Remington College poster on the building indicates that they will be expanding from across the parking lot into this building or if they just leased the right to hang a billboard for their operation (in the OfficeMax) there. At any rate, there is no visible construction permit to give any better idea of what is happening:
UPDATE 1 October 2012 -- Construction is going on:
The Dutch Square White's from the Bush River Road side:
The Dutch Square White's from the theater side:
The Dutch Square White's from the Dutch Square Boulevard side:
White's in the original Richland Mall:
The (second) Richland Mall White's from the Beltline Boulevard side:
The downstairs interior entrance to the Richland Mall White's from the "Parisian" side:
The upstairs interior entrance to the Richland Mall White's from the Barnes & Noble side:
White's as J. B. White was known to us was the department store we most often shopped at when I was small. This may have been due as much to the location as anthing else as White's was in nearby Richland Mall, both closer and easier to park at than Main Street. Whatever the reason, White's was always on the docket when it became time to "buy clothes". Mind you, when I was a boy, I hated "buying clothes" with a white-hot passion, and must have been a real trial for my mother to shop for; even now, I tend to buy 5 of the same pairs of pants or 10 of the same shirts if I know they fit so I won't have to do it again any time soon.
Despite hating clothes shopping, I liked White's. I think part of the reason was that the store, at least at Richland Mall, seemed rather mysterious to me. If I recall the layout correctly, there were doors on all four sides of the store (3 into the parking lot, and one into the mall's open air corridors) and the centrally placed escalators made it impossible to see from one side of the store to the other, so it was easy (for a kid) to become confused about exactly where you were. The escalators were somewhat mysterious and exciting in themselves. By today's standards they were very narrow, so you could stiff-arm your self up off your feet between the two rails and pretend that you were on some sort of space conveyor-belt, and when you got to the top, you had to walk around to the other side to come back down, so it was kind of confusing as well. The most mysterious aspect of the store though was the PA. In those days, I suppose there would not have been a phone at every service desk, and important announcements were communicated to the staff in code. And not just innocuous phrases that the customers would miss, but real numeric spy code! And the code would always be over-ennunciated by a melodious female voice: Fiiiiive-NiiiEeen, Fiiive-NiiiEeen!. It was sort of like I imagined announcements on Trantor would be.
Aside from clothes (which as I said, I hated), the merchandise at White's was a mixed bag. As I recall, they had no heavy electronics or appliances, but they did have cookware and small kitchen appliances upstairs. I liked that because it was "sort of" like hardware. They also had a small book department upstairs which I guess had bestsellers, but more importantly to me, remainders. I remember specifically finding the last Tom Swift, Jr. book there. Unfortunately, The Galaxy Ghosts had apparently been written by an entirely different team than the rest of the series, violated continuity and the characters, and wasn't very good.
If I haven't said anything about the Dutch Square store yet, that's partly because we went there less often, and partly because it was about the same, but less interesting. By the time it was built, the chain had dropped the code-talk, and its escalators were the modern width and harder to play on. (For that matter, by that time, I would have been getting self conscious about doing stuff like that). Its building is still standing however. The original Richland Mall store was razed during the ill-fated conversion to an enclosed Richland Fashion Mall, and a new one was built in the middle of the oddly shaped new space. Some time after the chain was sold in 1998, both the Richland Mall store and the Dutch Square store became "Belk's" locations. I was a bit disgruntled because as an adult I had come to rely on White's as a source for clothes that I considered looked "OK", and Belk's had a slightly different mix (no Arrow shirts, in particular).
As a side note, since we didn't travel much growing up, and I never saw a White's in the places we did go, I always assumed it was a Columbia chain like Tapp's, but when I started working in Augusta in the mid 90s, there were several there (which became, if I recall correctly, Dillard's instead of Belks).
UPDATE 20 Aug 08: The White's store at Richland mall was not torn down, and is in fact the same building housing the current Belk's and still has the skinny escalators. I think memory played me false because Whites was at the end of the original mall, and I was mentally assuming that the current end of the mall (Black Lion) was the same geographic spot.
UPDATE 14 March 2011: Updated closing date in the post title to 20 September 1998 based on commenter Andrew's research.
UPDATE 17 May 2011 -- I've mentioned it in the comments, but the closed off (except for salon and restrooms) third floor of the Dutch Square building is sort of spooky:
UPDATE 21 June 2011: Added a vintage shot of White's in old Richland Mall from a Chamber of Commerce promotional book.