Sunday, March 17, 2024

Celebrating Nine Years of The Mid-South Retail Blog!


It's crazy to believe I've been at it for this long -- but today marks the ninth (!!) anniversary of the Mid-South Retail Blog! Huge thanks as always to those of you out there who keep coming back for new content, as well as those of you who have only just recently stumbled upon the site -- or heck, even those of you have only read it once, never to return. (In which case it'd be kind of pointless to address you directly in that sentence, given you've never returned, but go with me here.) While my content levels have ebbed and flowed, I'd like to think my posts and writing style have (on a majority basis, at least) mostly improved ever since that first St. Patrick's Day back in 2015. Why I chose St. Patrick's Day as the day to start the site, I have no clue, but it gives me an excuse to color the number in the anniversary graphic green, if nothing else :P  (Even though I forgot to include the graphic in last year's post... and keep using the blog's old logo for the graphic even though I've long since replaced it, lol.)

Since I mentioned last year's anniversary post: I wrote that one in such a rush that not only did I exclude the graphic, I also excluded pretty much everything but a quick thank you to all my readers and commenters. As you guys may know by now, the first quarter of the year is pretty difficult for me to try and find the time to write blog posts due to the commitments of my job; I do good enough just to (barely) stay on top of posting to my flickr page during that time! As of today, though, we're not too far away from the end of busy season, and I'm super excited to return to blogging once I have more free time... I've got several fun posts I'm itching to write, including one from out of state; one about a retail establishment that connects my hometown, my college, and Batman; of course the next post in my Fred's series, the first one to look at life post-Fred's; a guest post on another blog; and one in Tupelo, which I've actually already gotten half-written (among still many others waiting in the wings!). Suffice to say, while I may not be updating it anywhere near as frequently as before, I certainly have no intentions of letting this blog wither away on my watch. Please stay tuned for lots more in the future, even if it takes a little bit longer for me to get around to it!

Compared to my fellow retail bloggers' anniversaries, I don't post stats as much on mine; not because I do or don't care about the stats, but more so just because I'm lazy and don't want to compile them XD  I do, however, like to share a nice, condensed listing of all the blog posts I've written over the past year, so y'all can revisit some or check out any you may have missed as you please; and since I didn't include 2022's posts in last year's anniversary entry, I've got both 2022 and 2023 summarized for y'all below. And stat-wise, the one big statistic I will share is the blog's total pageviews over all time, which stand today at approximately 261,252. That's an increase of 112,433 over 2022's number of 148,819, which is way more than I expected over that two-year timespan: thanks again, everyone!

March 2022

April 2022

May 2022

June 2022

August 2022

November 2022

March 2023

May 2023
Kroger #259 - Atlanta, GA (guest post by Sing Oil Blog)

June 2023

July 2023

August 2023

September 2023

October 2023

November 2023

In addition to the fun of writing the posts, I do always enjoy engaging with y'all in the comments, so thanks to those of you who do that -- while at the same time I want to stress I also appreciate all readership, with or without comments! I also always welcome contributions to the blog, which you can send in via our email address at midsouthretailblog [at] gmail [dot] com; and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention collaborations as well, such as the AFB and Sing Oil Blog guest posts referenced above, or our combined post on MFR (also linked above). Like I said -- I look forward to sharing more new content with y'all here soon, and hopefully you guys will stick around for it as well! Until then and as always, thanks for reading, and have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are :)

Retail Retell

Monday, January 15, 2024

Contributor Post: Additional "Lost Memphis" 7-Eleven Stores

Today's post highlights Shelby County, TN, retail.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2024 is treating you well so far! 

I wasn't able to get a post out following my November Dyersburg Gordmans entry, so I hope you all had a great holiday season in-between then and now. As usual, I expect the blog to continue to stay fairly quiet during the coming few months due to my job, but I hope to return in the spring with some more new content. And today, kicking us off for the year, we've got some fresh vintage photos from our contributor, Mike B.!

Mike has provided content to the blog before on a few separate occasions, but perhaps most notable are his 7-Eleven photos and historical information. Mike has a large collection of photos of Mid-South gas stations, many of which are no longer standing or have long since changed affiliation. As more of a big box store documentarian myself, I find it fascinating to see these insights into a different aspect of retail photography and history, especially with the vintage imagery. The Sing Oil Blog has plenty of such photos and information as well, so if this sort of stuff interests you, I encourage you to check that site out!

Mike's previous 7-Eleven posts can be seen at the following links:
In a comment on one of those posts, a user asked if there was once a 7-Eleven on Rockcreek Parkway in Cordova. Mike responded that yes, there was, and sent in the below photo of the store:

Per Mike, 7-Eleven #16305 was located at 8245 Rockcreek Parkway in Cordova. This store was not a standard design (as you can probably tell!) and was part of the Countrywood Development. This store operated as an independent store for years after 7-11 left Memphis. The best part is that they never covered up the 1970's interior graphics package, which had a photo (among others) of a grandma and grandchild drinking a Slurpee together. 

Courtesy ClickAmericana

Mike shared this link, which has plenty of images of the 1970s interior decor, including the example above. The Rockcreek 7-Eleven has long since been demolished, and is now just an empty plat of land.

While searching for that Rockcreek store photo, Mike also came across a handful of additional "lost Memphis" 7-Elevens to share with us. Up first, located at 3815 Elvis Presley Blvd, this is former 7-Eleven #22144, which was renamed appropriately King Mart. Located almost directly across the street from Graceland, the land is now part of Graceland Property. It was demolished sometime in 2009, per Google Street View imagery.

Courtesy Richmond Times-Dispatch

Mike continues, I remember the 7-Eleven interior was gone, but there were remnants of both 7-Eleven and Mapco in plain sight when I visited. The most memorable thing was "The Works"- 7-Eleven's fresh toppings bar was still intact including a raised plastic sign - but instead of fresh toppings it had a few sad packs of ketchup laying around. I found the above image online of an example of what "The Works" looked like back in the day. 

This next picture takes us to Sam's Highland Street Market - Formerly located at 628 S. Highland in Memphis, this was at one time 7-Eleven # 12850 and is now the location of a McDonald's restaurant. This building was demolished sometime between 2015 and 2016. I remember seeing other Sam's Z Markets around the Memphis/DeSoto County area, but I'm not sure if any of them are still open today.

Just across the street from the former 7-Eleven on Highland is this other gas station, a BP-affiliated Circle K convenience store at the time Mike's image was taken, located at S. Highland and Southern Avenue. This station is still open, but is now Circle K-branded for its gas as well. 

We jump to Nashville for this final shot, showing what must have been an early Circle K gas and C-store combo location at 2200 Nolensville Road and Glenrose Avenue. Mike's comment on this and the previous image is that they were his attempts at Circle K art, with the big sandwich billboard in the first photo and the old Buick in this one. I like how both images turned out!

Circle K-branded gas stations are definitely taking over these days -- the Shell station that I grew up with on Commerce Street in Hernando is now strictly a Circle K, as are a number of formerly Shell-affiliated stations across DeSoto County. Even the Mapco in Olive Branch that I referenced back in Mike's second 7-Eleven post has since converted to Circle K. We have a number of Circle K-only stations here in the Jackson area as well, including one that I pass every morning on the way to work (incidentally, itself a former Sing Oil station!). 

It's always funny to me to see the "Easy Pay" price on the Circle K signs, as that makes me think of QVC's Easy Pay! Apparently the Circle K Easy Pay card is similar to any gas brand's credit card, except that it is connected to your debit account but can be used only for Circle K transactions with a specific PIN, therefore protecting your account. Seems like a useful concept, plus it can save you 10 cents per gallon as well. Maybe I should look into that one of these days...

Anyway, that's it for this post. I hope you enjoyed seeing more of Mike's photos -- thanks again to him for sharing those with us! As always, if you have any photos and/or posts you'd like to share, our inbox is always open for contributions at midsouthretailblog [at] gmail [dot] com. Until next time, thanks for reading, and have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell