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buybuy Baby, 238 Harbison Boulevard: November 2021   no comments

Posted at 10:56 pm in closing

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As far as I can tell, the official way to refer to this parents' chain is buybuy Baby with the two lowercase buys mushed together followed by an uppercase Baby.

Doing a bit of google work turns up surprisingly little about the specific troubles of this sub-brand. The parent company Bed Bath & Beyond, has been hit hard by retail changes in general, and COVID-19 in particular, and has published plans to shut down around 200 underperforming locations. This would leave about 1200 storefronts, so it is by no means an abandonment of the market. CNBC has stories on this here and here. Neither article specifically addresses buybuy Baby though the second one seems to include those locations in with the Bed Bath & Beyond locations.

The company itself is announcing buybuy Baby initiatives with words like renewed and expanding in the text to, at least, give the impression they still have faith in the brand:

'welcome to parenthood' is buybuy BABY's renewed promise to help make the transition to parenthood as seamless as possible and invites all customers into this new community—which is designed to support parents with the guidance and advice that's best for both them and baby.

buybuy BABY's renewed purpose is part of its parent, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., to transform the business around the customer as a digital-first, omni-always retailer. The Company last year introduced digital services such as Buy Online Pickup in Store and Curbside Pickup, along with Same Day Delivery, and continues to innovate to put digital purchases into the hands of buybuy BABY customers even sooner.

Be that as it may, *this* store in the old Circuit City location in Harbison *is* closing, and has started the final sale.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on October 21st, 2021

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BB&T, 291 Harbison Boulevard: Late 2020   1 comment

Posted at 10:44 pm in closing

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This BB&T is on an outparcel of the Total Wine & More shopping center at the intersection of Harbison and Columbiana. I'm not exactly sure when they closed, but the last google review is from November of 2020, so I'm going with "Late 2020" until I hear differently. Although I do not have a BB&T account, I do have their Visa for the tenuous historical reason that a bank chain they once bought had a branch near my apartment in Fayetteville. It's always been well handled, and I don't think I've ever had the occasion to step into one of their branches. I certainly hadn't been to this one.

I believe this brings the number of fairly recent Harbison area bank closings to three, with this one, Region's Bank, and Wells Fargo.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on September 28th, 2021

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Ruby Tuesday, 120 Columbiana Circle: March 2020   15 comments

Posted at 11:54 pm in closing

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I did a closing for the Dutch Square Ruby Tuesday back in May. At that time I took pictures of this one, on a Columbiana Mall outparcel, as well. Since, unlike the other, there wasn't any clarity that this one was permanantly closed, I held off doing a post.

I drove back by today however, and nothing has changed. The "temporarily closed" sign is still up, but at this point I suspect that is no longer accurate. At the least, it's worth a mention and if they re-open later great! In the meantime, chalk up another one for for COVID-19.

UPDATE 7 June 2021 -- Razed:

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Steam & Ice, 275 Harbison Boulevard Suite M: January 2020   no comments

Posted at 10:59 pm in closing

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Steam & Ice seems to have been a coffee, smoothie, dessert & milkshake shop. Among other things, they were know for milkshakes topped with cotton-candy (which there is no way I can imagine liking, but your milage may vary), boba-tea, and acai bowls.

From what I can tell, they closed around January of 2020, so before the pandemic. Looking at the reviews, it appears that people liked it when it was open, but that there were ongoing staffing and early closing issues before the shutdown.

Written by ted on September 15th, 2020

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Pier 1 Imports, 250 Harbison Boulevard: January 2020   2 comments

Posted at 11:51 pm in closing

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As I have mentioned before, my mother, who had a taste for the odd & exotic, used to stop in at Pier 1 from time to time while I was growing up. Since that time, I believe I have only been in a Pier 1 once, and I have never been in this Harbison location.

This store is in an outbuilding by the Outback wing of the Harbison Court shopping center, which I used to visit fairly frequently for Barnes & Noble.

The State has the story on the closing, mentioning that the retailer is closing about half of its 900+ stores. So, say, that's more than 400 locations, which is a pretty whopping number. The retail apocalypse continues..

(Hat tip to commenter JCB)

UPDATE 30 June 2020: Update tags

Written by ted on January 24th, 2020

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Lifeway Christian Store, 1009 Bower Parkway:   2 comments

Posted at 10:49 pm in closing

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I did not know that Lifeway was the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, which obviously is not going anywhere. They are, however, unable to keep these stores open during the ongoing great-unretailing, and plan to close all 170 of them. The plan is to maintain an online presence, though how that will work out I don't know given that Amazon certainly lists religious books.

This storefront is in an odd little plaza that wants to be connected to the one behind it, but isn't, making access harder than it needs to be.

Somewhat ironically, this store moved here fairly recently, previously having been on the other side of Harbison Boulevard.

(Hat tip to commenter JamesR)

Written by ted on April 17th, 2019

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Circle K, 334 Harbison Boulevard: January 2019 (Open Again)   2 comments

Posted at 12:27 am in closing

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The first seven (excellent) pictures here are provided courtesy of commenter Heath.

This Circle K location first stuck in my mind some years ago when I stopped and noticed that the Subway restaurant in the back was clearly built in what was once a automated car wash slot, complete with a guide lane now leading nowhere.

I am a fan of the current round of Circle K rebuilds. The new stores are attractive inside and not at all cramped, plus they have nice bathrooms, which works in their favor on long drives. My cousin was touting Florida's Wa-Wa stores at Thanksgiving, and I think that is the kind of thing the new Circle Ks are targeted at. Of course, some of the older plots won't be large enough to do it.

(Hat tip to lots of folks, possibly commenter Arthur was first. And big thanks to commenter Heath for the pictures!)

UPDATE 17 April 2019 -- Construction is continuing apace:

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UPDATE 13 February 2020 -- Open again:

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Written by ted on February 15th, 2019

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Mattress Firm, 264 Harbison Boulevard: October 2018   1 comment

Posted at 10:48 pm in closing

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Here is another of Harbison Boulevard's Mattress Firm stores. It looks like they already have a new tenant, Rainbow, lined up, though I have no idea what that is.

I confess I have very little reason to go to Harbison Court anymore with both Barnes & Noble and Chili's being gone though I guess I did eat at Olive Garden once last year.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on November 6th, 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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Mattress Firm, 131 Harbison Boulevard Suite A: Fall 2018   19 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)

UPDATE 7 November 2018 -- Here you can see (poorly) that the store has been cleaned out:

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Written by ted on October 10th, 2018

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