Wednesday, May 27, 2020

2020 Updates: R.I.P. Danver's, and Welcome Back Fred's

Fair warning, those two statements are slightly misleading. While there's enough truth to them that I felt comfortable including both of them in the title of this post, Danver's isn't entirely gone, and Fred's isn't entirely back.

Allow me to explain.


If you recall my "Broken Chains Edition" post on Danver's Restaurant from last year, then you'll remember that the present-day story of Danver's was made so interesting by the fact that Cook Out, the entirely unrelated fast food chain, purchased the land beneath four of the five* final Danver's locations in 2017. Cook Out immediately converted two of those Danver's buildings it had purchased, but the owner of Danver's, John Golon, calmed Memphis-area Danver's patrons by saying that the remaining three Danver's restaurants would stay open as Danver's.

In fact, at the time, Golon claimed that Cook Out's original plan when purchasing those Danver's locations was to convert all of them to Cook Out, but once they saw how busy and popular they were, Cook Out reversed course, "realiz[ing] they could probably bring the [Danver's] restaurants to profitability if they lowered food expenses." However, since Cook Out does own the land, Golon cautioned that there would always exist the possibility that they'd convert the other two Danver's restaurants that they bought as well, saying, "That's always the eventuality if things don't go well."

Cook Out kept its two Danver's restaurants operational for a good three years following its 2017 purchase, but in spring 2020 -- perhaps driven by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on dine-in restaurants (as Danver's is very popular for its salad bar, but that item relies on the ability to dine in) -- Cook Out finally threw in the towel on Danver's, converting the Olive Branch, MS, Danver's to Cook Out. That's the location I profiled in my original post from 2019, and the same one I visited earlier today to try Cook Out for the first time (in addition to, you know, getting some pics for you all).

Courtesy Facebook

Per the Facebook post from which I obtained the menu image above, the Olive Branch Danver's converted to Cook Out sometime around mid-April 2020. Comments to that same post note that the other Danver's location owned by Cook Out, at Poplar and Kirby in Memphis, is, as of this writing, currently closed and boarded up. It remains to be seen whether that location will also convert to Cook Out or if the land will simply be sold to a new owner, but I would imagine that either of those situations is more likely than it is that the restaurant will reopen as Danver's.

Courtesy LoopNet

Before we move on to the Cook Out pictures, here's a reminder of what the Olive Branch Danver's used to look like...

...and as you can see, very little has changed! I know Cook Out isn't known for doing super-extensive renovations to the restaurants they take over, but sheesh :P  (Side note, a fun game would be to identify what all of the restaurants behind those links used to be, down in the comments!)

I'm just joking, of course; in actuality, since the conversion was so recent, I'm sure the changes are coming, and they simply haven't had time to happen yet. I honestly don't know whether to expect the existing facade to remain in full, to remain in part, or to be so drastically altered that none of it remains at all... so it will certainly be interesting to see the end result of Cook Out's exterior remodeling here. (Naturally, the lesser, the better!)

The exterior may be more uncertain, but there's no question that Cook Out will be remodeling the interior of the former OB Danver's. Call me crazy, but carpeting and Tiffany lamps don't really seem like their style.

If, in the above images, you peek in through the windows (particularly in the close-up shot), you can see slight evidence of work preparing to take place, notably the presence of a ladder in one spot. Since the interior dining room had to be closed due to the restrictions brought on by the pandemic anyway, it makes sense at this time to go ahead and convert this Danver's to a Cook Out. Sad as it is to see the already-broken chain become more broken, this is a prime -- and, some would even argue, necessary -- opportunity of which to take advantage.

As we circle around the back and right sides of the building, we see no modifications made to the existing Danver's structure in these areas, either, although Cook Out did make some changes to the drive-thru setup. Whereas previously Danver's had only one menu board and speaker, Cook Out has created a setup with two drive-thru lanes, visible best in the middle image of the above trio (and if you zoom in to the bottom one, you can see the old Danver's menu board covered up by a tarp, too).

However, Cook Out's two-lane setup is very rudimentary thus far, with absolutely no directional signage to let drivers know how to maneuver. I imagine that will be forthcoming with the full remodel. (They have, at least, closed off the southern entrance to the property in an effort to keep people from driving any which way in the parking lot.)

Thus far, the only branding present to let people know that this now-former Danver's is operational as a Cook Out are the two temporary banners placed on either side of the existing Danver's sign facing Hacks Cross Road. While there's a good chance the building itself may be altered beyond recognition, I'm hopeful -- minus the installation of permanent Cook Out sign faces in place of the banners, of course -- that this sign, at least, will remain unchanged, as the continued presence of the Danver's logo shape here would be a nice reminder of this building's heritage.

In addition to the newly-double-laned drive-thru, Cook Out also carved out a walk-up window from the large entry vestibule; it opens up onto the patio (where the existing tables and chairs have been piled up and discarded off in a corner), and can just barely be seen in a handful of the photos above. But like I said, for now, the interior of the restaurant remains closed pending a likely remodel. One of the comments on that aforementioned Facebook post suggests that Cook Out will actually keep the Danver's salad bar once the dining room reopens, but the author cautions that that's only a rumor right now. If true, that would be another nice nod to Danver's.

You'll notice that I don't have any pictures of my meal this time, primarily since 1) we had to eat in the car, and 2) Cook Out is not a broken chain. That said, since this was my first time ever eating at a Cook Out, I do want to note that I really liked most of it! The service was friendly and extremely quick, too; and I was astonished by just how much they have on their menu. Also, I can confirm that the Cook Out Trays really do give you a heck of a lot of food for the relatively small price. (For example, I got two hot dogs "Cook Out style" [topped with chili, slaw, mustard, and onions], a chicken quesadilla, a honey mustard chicken wrap, and a drink for about the same price or even slightly less than I paid last year for one Danver's roast beef sandwich, a lousy side of green beans, and a smaller drink...)

But enough about that. For an update trying to eulogize Danver's, I'm sure doing a more effective job of only praising Cook Out, haha! Maybe I'd be sadder if Danver's was gone entirely, but as I said at the top of this post, that's still not exactly true just yet.

Indeed, recall that I wrote that Cook Out only purchased the land beneath four of the five area Danver's locations. The real estate of that fifth Danver's, in Cordova, is leased rather than owned, and it therefore continues to operate as Danver's, completely independent of Cook Out's influence or ability to convert. In fact, owner John Golon appears finally to be returning to visible involvement with his sole remaining Danver's Restaurant, updating its Facebook page for the first time in, well, ever, and even personally responding to individual reviews on Google.

There's also the totally separate, independent from both Cook Out and John Golon location of Danver's that continues to exist down in Tupelo, MS, as well (which is what the asterisk I included earlier in this post refers to). So between both of those, here's to hoping that the Danver's legacy continues to live on, even if the chain has lost two more of its locations to Cook Out and has become even more broken than ever before.


Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, we have Fred's. As you likely are aware, I've been running a series on Fred's; the full list of posts can be accessed here. Fred's announced multiple successive rounds of store closures throughout 2019, ultimately leading up to a bankruptcy filing and total winding down of operations in October. My Fred's series documents the liquidation sales at many different local Fred's stores (and will, in fact, continue next month with our sixth of thirteen such posts!).

In my most recent Fred's post, from March, I mentioned that, in the bankruptcy, the Fred's intellectual property was sold to International Enterprises, Inc., about which I could find practically zero information online. Well, as it turns out, last week I finally stumbled upon that company's operations: a two-store chain in Ohio called Discount Outlet. Except now, those two stores are henceforth to be known as Fred's Discount Outlet.

As you can see from the logo above, the newly-christened Fred's Discount Outlet uses the exact same Fred's wordmark that the original Fred's company used circa 2009-2019, only now colored in blue. The old Fred's URL,, also now redirects to Discount Outlet's website. And finally, I'm unsure if this is related or simply a coincidence, but even Discount Outlet's weekly ads use the same font that Fred's did for its Fred's Closeout Bonanza stores -- fitting, since Discount Outlet is a very similar concept both to that and to the similarly short-lived Fred's Discount Depot!

The only thing I'm not entirely sure about is why, exactly, this small chain in Ohio would bother paying for the intellectual property of a brand that existed exclusively in the southeast; surely there's not much recognition of Tennessee-based Fred's up in Ohio. That said, I did find this article that mentions Discount Outlet is exploring further expansion of its footprint in the future... but note also in that article that it took them nearly 30 years to grow from one store to two, with the second located a mere seven miles from the first! So unless they're planning on expanding all the way to the southeast -- which seems unlikely -- I'm still not sure what their end goal with the Fred's IP; but I must admit that I'm glad to see it placed in good hands and being reborn, nonetheless.

EDIT: Perhaps some of you figured this out already, but it only dawned on me after writing this post. International Enterprises, Inc., bought the Fred's IP explicitly for the URL! Online shopping, of course, isn't limited only to a single region. The new owners are likely betting that former Fred's shoppers in the southeast will stumble upon their website and be fooled into thinking Fred's is still around in an online format, or even if they're not fooled, that they'll still find something they like on the website and be enticed to buy it, regardless. Savvy marketing ploy, there. (It doesn't appear as if the two physical stores themselves, meanwhile, are going to be rebranded at all.) 

One other Fred's update of note is that a lot of Fred's-branded products are finally reappearing in stores exactly like the new Fred's Discount Outlet, closeout chains that sell liquidated products. Examples can be seen below of Fred's merch found at three separate stores, in Memphis, Nashville, and Florida, respectively.

Found at a Memphis Ollie's

Found at a Nashville Roses Express -- which, by the way, is itself housed in a former Fred's building! Courtesy Mike B.

Found at a Florida Ollie's. Courtesy Cape Kennedy Retail


So that wraps up this quick update post. As you learned, with one Memphis-area location remaining (plus that other, seemingly-separate one in Tupelo, too), Danver's isn't truly dead; and Fred's isn't truly alive, at least not in the same form or company as it was from 1947 to its demise in 2019. But there have been enough major developments to where these claims are partially true; and for all intents and purposes of this post, certainly worth sharing as the two chains' stories continue to evolve.

With only two short posts to show, I know it looks like I haven't gotten a lot done on the blog this month, so for that I apologize. But please know that the truth is actually the opposite -- this month, I finally sat down and typed out the blog's big 100,000 pageviews celebration post! That way, it's all ready to go as soon as we hit the milestone, which, with any luck, will hopefully be just a few short weeks from now -- get excited, y'all!!

With that said, I hope you'll forgive me for the lack of up-front content this month, since my time was devoted to preparing that post "behind the scenes" instead. Not to worry though, as next month we'll jump right back into our regularly scheduled content, with that aforementioned Fred's post on tap for June, plus anything else I find time to complete. So until then, thanks as always for reading, and have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Contributor Post: Former Rite Aid, West End, Nashville, TN (Plus Various Other Fun Things and Blog Updates)

Our Rite Aid series historically has had its entries published only in the months of April, August, and December, but since the series is on its way out the door this year (the final post is scheduled for August), today seems like a good day to share a bonus Rite Aid post with you, even if the month is off-pattern. I've actually had these photos on hand since March, but as you can see, I'm a bit delayed in getting around to sharing them!

In a discussion earlier this year, the Mid-South Retail Blog's Nashville correspondent, Mike B., shared some information on how that market's Rite Aid stores have fared in the years following the Walgreens buyout. Like Memphis, Nashville saw a majority of its Rite Aids closed down, but one lone store did manage to remain, Mike wrote. Located on Nashville's West End, in the 1900s the historic building served as a Texaco and a Firestone -- as shown below -- before becoming an Eckerd Pharmacy later on in life. Eventually, Rite Aid took over, and in keeping with the theme of the building and the neighborhood installed a very cool (or perhaps adapted an existing?) neon sign.

Photo is labeled "courtesy of Tennessee State Library and Archives" and is in Nashville: A Pictorial History by George Rollie Adams and Ralph Jerry Christian.

Courtesy Google Maps

Courtesy Google Maps

You can see in the below Google Maps interactive walkthroughs of the store (if they work properly!) that the interior décor in this Rite Aid is the only one of the chain's three major modern-day packages that we've yet to see here on the blog. We've seen plenty of the 90s pastel "RA1" package as well as one 2010s "Wellness" décor store; this look bridges the gap, hailing from the 2000s, and is called "Customer World." It was used in many Eckerd-to-Rite Aid conversions, but since we didn't have any of those in the Mid-South, the look was not common locally.

Unfortunately, as you may have surmised, Mike found out earlier this year that Walgreens had in fact shuttered this location as well, ending Rite Aid's presence in Tennessee's capital city. As he wrote, It's not completely surprising because there is a Walgreens about 1 mile away on West End. (The location that I'm talking about is where Walgreens demolished a 1920's or older apartment building to build a generic suburban style location about 20 years ago, despite many protests.) Mike was kind enough to stop by and grab some pictures for us; these are attached below.

Courtesy Mike B.

Courtesy Mike B.

As you can see in these two images, sadly the retro-looking neon Rite Aid sign was completely stripped of its branding following the store's closure. Expected, but still unfortunate. If and when this building gets a new tenant, hopefully they will consider reusing the sign or putting up a new neon sign of their own.

Courtesy Mike B.

These window coverings were common at 2000s-era Rite Aid new-builds and remodels. From what I've seen of them online, I've always thought that the flowy script-like pattern was just meant to be abstract. However, in this picture I'm clearly seeing the word "Hola," Spanish for "hello." Does anyone know if that's just a coincidence, or are the patterns actually meant to spell out real words?

Courtesy Mike B.

Courtesy Mike B.

Here's a look at the sidewalk entrance to the store -- plastered with "closed" signs -- as well as the first of a few peeks inside the windows. You can see the reverse of the "Thank You" sign hanging over the doors, as well as the aisle markers (below), which mimic the shape of the famous Rite Aid shield (which, by the way, is soon to be replaced by the chain's new logo). Overall, this décor package seems very neutral in color, which amounts to a look that works well even today yet still manages to clearly recall its own era of the 2000s.

Courtesy Mike B.

Courtesy Mike B.

More images of the empty interior. Mike writes, I'm going to miss this store. I have a few good memories of it over the years. That store was always good for getting snacks for Shakespeare in the Park..  That location always felt like a "City" store -  It always had the feel of being in a much larger city than Nashville.  The isles were narrow and crowded, and it had covered parking, and usually the type of interesting customers that a "Mid-town" area will have. 

Courtesy Mike B.

Finally, here's a view of the entire building from afar. In the foreground you can see the Eckerd-shaped pill sign shares its pole with Smoothie King, the occupant of that outbuilding. Per Mike, The outbuilding (which I'm assuming was originally the gas station) is now Smoothie King, but was adaptively used as the Eckerd Photo Lab for many years. 


Courtesy Mike B.

Mike also sent along a few other pics he thought you guys would like to see. Up first is a shot he sent me back at Christmastime, calling this labelscar the Ghost of Christmas Past. Under the Macy's sign you can just make out Castner Knott in script. Castner Knott was Nashville's department store from 1898 to 1998.

Courtesy Mike B.

Up next is this pic of a Publix on Murfreesboro Road in Nashville. This store went through quite an odyssey, as Mike wrote. It began with an independent store nearby, possibly called Steven's, that FoodMax acquired in the mid-1980s. At some point, Bruno's (FoodMax's parent company) began building a new location up the street, but wasn't able to finish construction before selling 15 of its Tennessee and Georgia supermarkets to Albertsons in 1998. Albertsons opened at the existing FoodMax location, but also went ahead and completed the under-construction new location, opening it as Albertsons in 1999 (albeit with the distinctive Bruno's architecture).

However, Albertsons didn't last long at this location, closing in February 2002 (shortly before exiting the Nashville market entirely). Publix took over this store following Albertsons' departure, and Publix's tenure in the building is what's shown in the photograph above. Publix lasted here until 2009, when they moved down the street to a new-build store of their own. The building is now split between Ollie's and Planet Fitness, but a few Publix remnants remain (including in the restrooms). You can read more about this store and all other former Nashville-area Albertsons locations in this post from 2017, compiled in partnership with Albertsons Florida Blog.

Courtesy Mike B.

Finally, Mike also was able to dig up this Jitney Jungle picture for us, in response to the brief Jitney Jungle "lost history" I shared in March's blog post. The store pictured here is located in Holly Springs, MS, and is shown circa 1995 or 1996. Thanks as always for all of your contributions, Mike B.!


That concludes the contributor portion of this post, but I have a lot of other various fun things and blog updates to squeeze in today. First, Mike isn't the only one with updates in response to blog posts from earlier this year -- I've got a couple of those to share with y'all, too.

Image source unknown

In response to April's blog post, thanks to AFB in the comments, it has been determined that that vintage pharmacy most likely started out as a Revco in the early 1980s (meaning the interior décor could very well still date back to the 70s, since stores use the same looks for multiple years). You can see the matching facade elements (the rectangular walkway sign and skinny upper windows) in the image above, complete with Revco labelscar.

Revco went out of business in 1997, ultimately selling out to CVS (which explains the Savannah, GA, store we saw); but as you know the Columbus, MS, location became Rite Aid instead, so perhaps it was sold off earlier than that. Either way, definitely a neat history at that location!

Also, in response to January's blog post, I managed to snap this shot, which is zoomed-in rather tight, while in a moving car going a certain number of miles per hour on the interstate heading northbound. In other words, I'm quite surprised it turned out so well, haha! 

As I mentioned in that post, there were two billboards for the Factory Stores at Batesville along I-55; one in the southbound lanes near Senatobia, and another in the northbound lanes about an equal distance south of Batesville. The Senatobia billboard has since been covered over, but the (very sun-faded!) northbound I-55 one still stands, at least as of early March 2020. 

I'm not sure how the pandemic has affected construction at the property (if at all), but as far as I know the conversion to a satellite campus of Northwest Community College is still moving forward.


Speaking of the pandemic, of course I hope you are all staying safe and healthy right now. The retail world as we know it has been especially impacted, but for those of you who enjoy retail photography and written documentation as a hobby, there's still plenty of content online to browse at your leisure, both old and new. Some specific items I've personally found interesting lately include a short biography on Clarence Saunders: The Piggly Wiggly Man (as you know, Piggly Wiggly, hailed as the first self-service grocery store concept, originated here in Memphis); a one-page 2008 Fortune Magazine feature entitled "Company Logo Smackdown"; and two other articles, one I read this morning about the excitement that used to surround "Record Store Release Tuesdays," and another a few months back from Retail Dive investigating "Who Really Killed Blockbuster?" (That last one will be particularly relevant here in a moment.)

Consider those some quarantine reading options for you. As always, there are plenty of other sites for you to spend your time browsing as well. I enjoy BrandNew, a website that tracks and reviews logo redesigns. (It even has a cool "On This Day" feature that compiles past logo reviews from its entire lifespan.) Retail Dive is a good source to follow for current industry news, beyond just that Blockbuster piece I linked to in the previous paragraph. If your sense of humor is like mine, you might like other sites such as Ted Parnsips (which has plenty of content that is tangentially retail-related) and its sister blog newspaper, Canoga Park Quilt. And of course, there's plenty of content here on the Mid-South Retail Blog! I just updated the Memphis metro-area Kroger décor listing, for one (can you believe that, since 2018, we've gone from 22 stores with bountiful/2012 décor to just 12?!), and I've got lots of other great content planned for the summer ahead, too.

Oh, and mine isn't the only retail blog out there either, you know. Take a look at our sidebar, and you'll see over 30 links to fellow retail blogs that are all worth your time. Many of them are active, but even for those that aren't, the backlogs still present great reading material. Likewise, there's tons of great content to be found from the retail community on flickr as well, including my own account. (Well, at least I hope you find it to be great content!) By no means is this a comprehensive list (nor do I know such a list to exist), but in my opinion the list of accounts I follow is a good place to start. And the retail community extends to plenty of other venues as well, such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and more. There's always lots to explore!

Finally, maybe you're in the mood to write something yourself. As always, our inbox is open and ready to receive your contributions -- pictorial, text, or both -- at midsouthretailblog [at] gmail [dot] com. My friend Cape Kennedy Retail has created Retailpedia, which you are welcome to join and edit. And you can chat with us on Discord in The Retail Union chat room, too. Even if you've heard of and/or already follow a lot of the blogs and other sites mentioned above, I hope you'll find something new to discover and enjoy from among that crowd.


We'll move into the home stretch of this hodgepodge post with two recent occurrences of note in Memphis. First... do you remember The Spaghetti Warehouse? The chain closed its Memphis location back in November 2017 after 30-odd years in operation. I visited one last time and documented the unique interior over on flickr in this album. Since then, a lot of downtown residents have been pining to turn the lot into a grocery store, which downtown Memphis lacks. The ample surface parking on the lot is a rarity that would lend itself nicely to that sort of reuse. On the other hand, it seemed just as likely -- if not more so -- that the building would simply be torn down and a new high-rise constructed in its place, eating up the parking lot.

In what could perhaps be considered a compromise, the property was recently sold to Kemmons Wilson Companies, which plans to relocate its headquarters to the old Spaghetti Warehouse building from elsewhere in Memphis. This reuse is not, in fact, a grocery store, but on the plus side, the circa-1905 warehouse building gets to stay, as does the parking lot. Conversion has already begun, and last month, one of the final pieces remaining inside from the building's previous life was unceremoniously removed: the old Spaghetti Warehouse trolley.

Courtesy Twitter

Courtesy Twitter

For those who are unaware, a hallmark of The Spaghetti Warehouse is that all of its restaurants have/had repurposed trolley cars in their dining rooms, retrofitted to hold tables and chairs. An auction of the interior contents of the Memphis location was held not long after its closure, and the trolley was indeed sold, for $360 to be exact. But trolleys aren't exactly small, and in auctions, it's always the buyer's responsibility to remove their purchases. The trolley bid required the purchaser either to remove it in pieces, or to take down and then rebuild an exterior wall in order to get it out in one piece. The purchaser was required to have insurance for all that, too. So, unfortunately but understandably, the trolley never made it out of the building until this year (and some poor soul wasted $360). The pictures above were taken from Twitter, so I have no clue if the trolley is still sitting in the parking lot in its sad state carved into thirds with the separate chassis next to it, or where its final destination may be. A bit of a bittersweet end to the story of the Memphis Spaghetti Warehouse.

But wait, that's not all the sad news to be had. The Spaghetti Warehouse is easily a broken chain, down from nearly 50 locations over its lifespan to just ten restaurants in 2017. Memphis's closure left nine, which soon became a mere seven after the Houston location -- which had been temporarily closed after being damaged by Hurricane Harvey -- converted to a new concept (Warehouse 72, a modern twist on The Spaghetti Warehouse) in August 2019, and the Dallas location closed in October 2019. Now, thanks to the pandemic, the two remaining Texas locations -- in Arlington and in San Antonio -- have also permanently closed, leaving only five Spaghetti Warehouse restaurants in operation (four in Ohio, and one in Syracuse, NY). 

I was hoping to talk more about The Spaghetti Warehouse's broken chain status in a future blog post highlighting another broken chain of Italian restaurants, but my visit to the nearest location of that chain has similarly been affected by the pandemic, so I thought it best to go ahead and break that news in this post, sad as it may be. Another broken chain I'd been planning on visiting for a long time but had simply put off may have permanently closed as well, so certainly this is a bad time for restaurants that no longer have corporate backing to weather the downturn. (Young, locally-owned, growing chains aren't unaffected, either, as Memphis-metro-based The Sear Shack has announced it is closing all of its six locations, some of which haven't even been open two full years at this point.)


The other Memphis topic, thankfully, is a much more uplifting one. Over on Poplar Avenue in East Memphis, some work crews recently removed some billboard facings -- likely readying them for replacement -- revealing a seriously vintage advertisement underneath. Curious what the advertisement was for? Well... remember that Blockbuster thing I mentioned earlier...?

Courtesy Reddit

Courtesy Twitter

Courtesy Twitter

Courtesy Twitter

Yep -- the crews managed to uncover a vintage Blockbuster billboard!! The above photos have been compiled from various Reddit and Twitter pages whose users were equally as amazed at this development. And who wouldn't be excited about something like this -- a Blockbuster billboard visible in 2020, when only one Blockbuster remains on the whole planet? That's gold!

Naturally, I couldn't let this rare opportunity pass without seeing the billboard with my own eyes, so last week we took a drive out that way just to park in the parking lot and snap a few pictures. These are presented for your enjoyment below.

By the way, for those wondering what "Movies in the Middle" are, one Reddit user wrote, "If I remember the store layout correctly, new releases were displayed around the store perimeter (in alphabetical order? Maybe?) and you entered and perused in an IKEA-esque sort of moving line. And then after you’d walked past the new releases you got spit out into the middle aisles where older movies were shelved. So my best stab at an answer for you is that deal was for the not-so-newly released movies shelved in the middle of the store."

I found an old newspaper ad for a Blockbuster grand opening in Germantown, TN, advertising these exact same deals dated October 1997, so that's probably a good approximation as to how long this billboard has been hanging around behind all its other various new facings over the years. Pretty cool!


Last but not least, a reminder that coming soon is a very special post celebrating the blog's milestone of 100,000 pageviews! Except, you know, we actually have to hit that achievement first :P  We're making very good progress, though -- we were at 94,000 back in mid-March, and as of today we're nearing 97,300. That's a lot of views in a relatively short time, which I'm happy to see. Keep checking back, and we'll make it to 100K even sooner!

In addition to the teaser I previously shared with y'all in a separate post, here's one more. Unlike the first one, this one doesn't actually have to do with the subject matter of the post. Rather, it's simply an old picture of the McDonald's outparcel to the subject, which I found cool because of both the playland out front and the lightning script logo on the left side of the building. I want to reiterate that the post will have absolutely nothing at all to do with McDonald's, I just thought this image was fun.

Courtesy LoopNet

I hope y'all are getting excited about the 100K celebration post -- I certainly am! In fact, after this one, it will be the very next blog post that I write, just so I can have it ready to go as soon as we break that number of pageviews. But that's not all I have planned for this summer, by any means. No, I've also got a really great Fred's post lined up for June that I'm super excited for, as well as my long-awaited (or at least, long overdue!) second entry over at My Florida Retail. Plus even more content as time warrants. 

So please, stay tuned for all of that in the coming months! Thanks for reading today, too. Until next time, stay safe. Be well. And when the time is appropriate to do so, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are.

Retail Retell