Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Marquette Mall - Guest post by Ryan Sobecki

Marquette Mall Michigan City, IN - Guest post by Ryan Sobecki

Malls often die a slow and painful death, and this mall is no exception. This mall opened in 1971, right when downtown was headed towards the suburbs. A 3 anchor mall with Woolworth's as a junior anchor. It was one of the first air conditioned malls in the state! I remember it having (in the 80's and 90's) a Walgreens and a Walgreens restaurant, a pet store, Man Alive, True Value, Hair Castle, Foot Locker, Chess King, Corn Dog place, Hot Sam's, an Arcade called the Gold Mine, Piercing Pagoda, Fox Jewelry, Bressler Ice Cream, K-B Toys, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Readers World/Hallmark, Record Town, I think a Castle Records (?), and later on a F.Y.E. and a Bath and Body Works.  Then they remodeled some of it in the early 90's I think and a food court moved into the Jo-Ann Fabrics area, then a Rex Audio moved into the Walgreens and now it is a Visitor Center.  They tried a McDonalds for a while, but that closed soon after.  It was never a mall that we would call "busy" because we used to go to Mishawaka (University Park)or South Bend (Scottsdale-now tore down) and Merrillville/Hobart (South Lake). The La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau moved in where the old Walgreen's and Walgreen's restaurant and then Rex used to be to try and get people to the mall I guess... The mall is about 5 miles north of I-94...on Franklin Street. The mall is currently 578,181 sq feet. The office tower is occupied by a number of law firms and health care providers.

A few vintage photos first:

A lot has changed since these photos were taken opening week. I will take you through the malls downfall, starting in 2010. All photos were taken by me, Ryan Sobecki.

Mall Directory - 2010

Carson Pirie Scott





Lets look at some OPEN stores




Now lets take a look at some closed stores




Lets look at this closed off corridor of the mall!



A look outside

Carson Pirie Scott


Office Tower




Marquette Mall Sign


Next, we take a look at 2013/2014!

Not much has changed... probably because they don't update the directory! 

JCPenney still holding on!

Carson Pirie Scott closing off there large entrance a bit

Stores like GNC could no longer hold on

The mostly empty hallways of a once bustling mall

Just add the website to make it look like its from the 21st century!

 Outside of Carson Pirie Scott


Marquette Mall 2016?

JCPenney closed their location. Sears & Carson Pirie Scott both remain. The mall is still open, but very few stores remain, and the mall is still for sale. Seems like its only hanging on due to it's anchor stores.

If you have updated photos from this mall, please submit them to deadanddyingretail@gmail.com

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sears Grand (now Grand-less) Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Sears Grand, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
8250 Day Creek Blvd Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
Photos by Andrew Gileo

Once upon a time (ok, 2003), Sears launched a concept called "Sears Grand". It was essentially Sears meets Kmart on steroids, but Sears and Kmart wouldn't merge until 2004. You can get all the big brands Sears offered when it came to tools, appliances, electronics and even auto care, plus you can get basic items like soda, chips, toys, sheets and batteries. A lot of its stores were built brand new, giving it a completely fresh look. Once Sears and Kmart merged, some Kmart stores converted to this concept. Sadly, some were a half hearted effort. Some stores would simply be repainted, put up a new logo, and changed the Kmart price tags to Sears ones, often raising the prices. Customers didn't take to this idea, and many of these concept stores were quickly changed back to Kmart. The positive was, when changing back to Kmart, most got a full remodel, such as the Summerville, SC store.

Then, there's stores like this: Built as a Sears Grand, yet, it quietly lost its "Grand". Items that would make it "Grand" were removed, and the store was basically converted into a regular Sears department store. I don't believe Sears ever officially retired the Sears Grand name plate, but from the looks of it, most have been turned into a regular Sears store.


Going Inside

The map is original to the stores opening.... and isn't reflective of whats inside today

The front end of the store featuring an open Sears Optical, a failed Portrait Studio, and a failed Dentist.







Sears Auto Center

Bed sheets are YUMMY! (Former Pantry section)

Outdoor Furniture

Shopping Cart


Photos were taken in the SUMMER of 2015... (look at the bags)

Have a Sears Grand of your own to share? Please comment below or email deadanddyingretail@gmail.com