Sunday, May 15, 2016

Retail Road Trip

This McDonald's is somewhere in Arkansas very close to the Mississippi border; I'd say there's a good chance it's actually within the MSRB coverage area.

Happy almost Memorial Day, everyone! (Okay, so it's half a month away, but bear with me here...) Although some school districts are still in session as June begins, the end of May holiday weekend widely symbolizes the start of summer. Here at the Mid-South Retail Blog, we're getting things started a little early! On my flickr page, I'll be kicking off summer with a special extended two-week photoset called "Retail Road Trip" featuring detailed tours of several stores (or, as I like to call them, "stours"). But I have plenty more photos of random places taken while actually on road trips. As such, the quality of these photos may vary, and I don't exactly know for certain where many of them were taken... but that doesn't mean they're not worth sharing below! Enjoy :)

From Alabama:

Domino's probably took over this location fairly recently, or else ditched an older logo road sign for a new one, given the inset photo shows their new logo facing the street. 

Fairly certain this mansard-roof McDonald's is in Birmingham, AL. Pay close attention to it - it'll come up again later.

The Publix in Oxford, AL, as seen from the Panera Bread outparcel.

A shopping center also in Oxford, AL (if I'm not mistaken...)

Newer signage on this Olive Garden!

From Georgia:

Interstate sign for the Gateway Walmart, which looks to be in Columbus, GA.

I thought I framed this shot well... but then discovered it came out unfocused :(

Waffle House... thinking it's somewhere in GA, haha

From South Carolina:

An eyebrowed McDonald's, evidently near Reed Ave. and W. Butler St.! These SC photos are mostly from the Columbia/Lexington area.

A Sears hometown store, partially housed in what could be a former Kmart...?

KFC/LJS combo. Long John Silvers was spun off from Yum! brands (parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut) in 2011, yet still operates in cobranded restaurants.

An older-logo'd Domino's Pizza

Another remaining mansard-roof McDonald's!

(...which means it deserved two pictures, of course :P )

Former Eckerd-turned-Dollar General

Former Hollywood Video-turned Beauty Stop

Typical Walmart Supercenter.

This RadioShack looks to have been considered a keeper by Sprint. It's right next door to that Hollywood Video Beauty Stop, and the complex altogether is on an outparcel of the Walmart.

Very nice-looking Chick-fil-A. Interestingly, it shares its road sign with the Office Depot nearby!

A fully updated Wendy's location. If this isn't a newly-built location, then they did a pretty heavy remodel here!

Not retail but important nonetheless :)

Another eyebrowed Mickey D's

Standalone Subway in a pitched-roof building.

The Book Dispensary, a really cool used-book store

A not-so-extensively remodeled Wendy's. All they did here was stick up some new signage and call it a day!

An older McDonald's, retaining both mansard roof and playplace

This and the next shot are from a mall in Columbia.

Pretty sure this was formerly a Sears.

An older-logo Big Lots sign hangs on to dear life on the back of this store...

Older Burger King location on a naval base.

Shopping center in Lexington featuring Food Lion and Stein Mart, among others. I have photos of that Books-a-Million store here on my flickr account.

From North Carolina:

These two pictures are from a separate, earlier trip, but geographically they fit best at this point in the post :P

I thought this custom McDonald's in Asheville looked really neat!

From the return trip:

Given this wasn't a one-way trip to SC, I have pics from the trip back through GA and AL as well!

This and the above pic are of another as-yet-unremodeled McDonald's. All of the mansard roof locations in this post may have since been remodeled, though... :(

Relatively newer BK beside a RaceWay gas station/convenience store. This shot was taken before the two McD's ones, so while I'm not sure of the location of either restaurant, this one has a better chance of being in GA than the former

Back in Birmingham, AL... tried to get a shot of its original Arby's sign, to little success. This driver's lawnmower, however, I captured perfectly! :/

Forestdale Square is one of many desolate sights in this part of Birmingham, which has never seemed too successful retail-wise during my travels through there. Note the old Save-a-Lot sign.

Aha, there's that McDonald's again! Can you catch the difference? I'll give you a hint: look at the sign on the front of the building...

From Mississippi:

This, in addition to most of the following photos, was taken in Columbus, MS. Located in Lowndes County, Columbus actually is within the MSRB coverage area set forth by our logo!

From the interstate sign way in the background, I'm guessing this is Leigh Mall. I'm also guessing that the Sears Hometown store seen in the previous photo is operating out of a former Sears Auto Center, and that this Hobby Lobby is in part of (if not all of) a former full-line Sears store.

From left to right - Electric City, Dollar Tree, JCPenney, and Trustmark 

An older, mirrored-façade Office Depot in the background, as well as a Hardee's to the right

Peking Chinese Restaurant is almost certainly in a former something, but I'm not sure what. BK, maybe? Old Navy is in the background.

Cap'n D's

What looks to be a neon Kroger, though has since been expanded/remodeled.

Standalone Jimmy John's.

Arby's, with Walmart in the background...

...and Backyard Burgers, with Walmart again in the background.

Pretty busy Sonic!

Strip center featuring, among others, Buffalo Wild Wings and regional Lost Pizza Co.

Sweet Pepper's Deli

A still-operating Texaco!

Thinking this is/was a former mall entrance. Not sure if this is Leigh Mall still or another retail conglomeration

Michaels, with Dick's to the left

The Columbus Kmart, which is staying open... for now

Another shot of the Kmart :P

Looks like a Shell, right? I thought so, anyway. It's not. (Can't remember what brand it actually was, though)

Not the best shot, but another Texaco warranted one!
UPDATE: Commenter "publisher73" has left a great deal of information regarding the histories of the Columbus retail pictured above, which I encourage you to check out below this post!

Some random MS retail pics to top us off. This is one of the state's original Target stores, in its capital of Jackson.

The Sears store entrance in Barnes Crossing Mall in Tupelo. Note the use of the first variation Sears logo. Later versions had more streamlined placement of the lines within the letters.

A Pizza Inn location in Greenville, MS, occupying what used to be a long-standing Gus's Fried Chicken location.

A newer Denny's, on a Walmart outparcel in Greenville. This has to be one of the more interesting conversions out there: this was once a Blockbuster Video!

 And that does it for this "Retail Road Trip" blog post! I have at least one more RRT post set for next month, with another in mind that I may or may not get around to. And as I said, watch out for my RRT photoset over on flickr after Memorial Day weekend, which I hope you enjoy!

One last note before parting: the Mid-South Retail Blog now has a secure link, and opens only in HTTPS form over its former HTTP. This provides me and you with encryption, data integrity, and authentication. All a part of creating a safe and enjoyable experience that, hopefully, keeps you coming back! :)

Piggly Wiggly! :P

Whether locally or from the road, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell