Friday, October 20, 2006

Country Club Plaza Mall Sacramento

I finally had the pleasure of visiting one the very few malls in Northern California that I haven't been to, Country Club Plaza Mall. Well, I tried to visit once before, but it was closed (at 7:30 on a Saturday!). I only got to see the inside from the gates of Gottschalks that time. Then it was gutted and in its place a new, expanded mall. I'm glad they kept the mall enclosed, but I'm not sure if the public is. The outside of the mall had a number of big-box retailers that were doing fine, but the interior of the mall wasn't so lively. Personally, I prefer less crowds, but that isn't good for business.

I especially enjoyed the architecture of the Macy's, which used to be Weinstocks. You can find this building type at other malls, like Sunrise Mall. I'm not sure what the Gottschalks was before, so if anyone can help me out by answering that question, that'd be great!

I wish I got to spend more time in the area because another classic, now dead, mall is across the street. Country Club Centre. I believe it had Rhodes, then Libery House, then, Montomery Ward? My history is a little sketchy on this one. Corrections, please!

I hope you enjoy the photos!


Read my Guide to Country Club Plaza Mall

Visit the current Website.

See the pre-renovation aerial view.


Georob said...

I'm not so strong on Sacramento malls, but I'm pretty sure that Gottschalks was JC Penney until they moved over to Arden Fair.

If I recall, Country Club's in a pretty affluent part of Sacramento, otherwise I'm sure it wouldn't have lasted being so far away from a freeway and so close to Arden Fair. Both malls had Weinstocks and now both have Macys.

But as affluent as the area is, it sounds as if Country Club doesn't position itself as too upscale. (Arden and Roseville do that) Therefore, you end up with big box retailers that are better suited for auto traffic, not mall-walkers.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Gottschalks was originally JCPenney. And there were two Weinstocks in very close proximity. However, the Country Club store is much larger. It even used to have a restaurant in the lower level.

The Macy's at Arden Fair doesn't sell much of anything besides clothing (i.e., no housewares, domestics, etc.) since it's such a small store, so Country Club is a much better option for finding a full line of Macy's merchandise with better parking and smaller crowds.

Country Club Centre was once an enclosed mall with Wards at one end and Liberty House at the other. IN the middle was a Longs Drugs. The Wards location is now Wal-Mart, and the Liberty House end is offices. The enclosed mall was torn down after Wards went under.

If the owners of the two malls had been smart, they'd have connected the two malls into a mega-mall (see Del Amo, King of Prussia, Valley Fair) before Arden became the mega-mall for the area.

Georob said...

Had they connected the two, Sacramento might have well today had one gigantic DEAD MALL.

Again, the lack of freeway access is Country Club's biggest drawback, and it's proximity to affluent neighborhoods like Carmichael is what kept this place afloat. Despite the fact that it has Macys and Gottschalks, all the other tenants are what you'd find in a power center. Because it's a smaller mall, it works.

Sunrise is going to be interesting to watch as it's also miles from a freeway. The Roseville Galleria has to be a threat to their market area, and if any real competition were to ever emerge on the Hwy 50 corridor towards Folsom, they might be in trouble




randy hansen said...

Please check my comment on the history of the Weinstock's stores at Arden Fair and Country Club Plaza in the Mall Hall Of Fame blogspot by clicking on the link from this blogspot.

randy hansen said...

Let me correct myself, there is no link to the Mall Hall of Fame from here, but the address is Be sure to include the hyphens.

Anonymous said...

I recently went out to Country Club Plaza and unfortunately, the mall still has vacancies all over. Fortunately there are a number of smaller chain stores in the mall interior, including American Eagle Outfitters, Claire's, Hallmark, MasterCuts, PacSun, Styles For Less and Vitamin World. The Athlete's Foot and Crescent Jewelers only lasted a few years.

There's not much of a food court left as only Panda Express and Subway serve up actual meals. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Mrs. Fields are pretty much just dessert.

Back in the day when I used to work there in 1999 (4 years before the renovation), there was a Claire's, Footaction, Hallmark, Lane Bryant, MasterCuts, Orange Julius, Payless ShoeSource, RadioShack, Ritz Camera, Sbarro and Vitamin World. Only Claire's, Hallmark, MasterCuts and Vitamin World returned after the mall renovation. Payless ShoeSource also returned, but located their store outside.

Yes, with the affluent area nearby, it should've attracted some upscale stores.

Side Note: Vans Skatepark was originally going to open as part of the renovation, but instead, Sport Chalet opened.

Anonymous said...

The History of these two malls might also be called the history of J.C. Penney in Sacramento, as the (now closed) Longs Drugs between what was Wards and what was Liberty house was in fact a Penney's. I know this because my family has deep roots in employment with Longs. This was definately the most interesting Longs store I remember as a kid...IT HAD A BASEMENT. Up untill it's closure I could still walk in and see the areas in the middle of the store where the escalators used to be.

When Country Club Plaza was built Penney's moved into what became the Gottchalk's building. Although I never really understood why. I mean that building is not all that much larger than the Longs was.

I personally wish they had kept Country Club Centre and torn down the Plaza..but fond memories of walking out into the mall from Longs to sit on Santa's Lap aside.........

The Macy's (former Weinstok's) IS the best in Sacramento, although not billed as a men's or kids store, it seem's they ALWAYS have my size and style in stock. It's also a beautiful building in it's own right.

Anonymous said...

In the early 60's didn't there use to be a Tower of Shoes there. I remember my father taking us 4 kids to Tower of Shoes to buy us all shoes. My sister and I always got saddle shoes, and i remember they had some kind of merry go round for the kids to ride on . We really loved going there.:)

David Fifer said...

No, Tower of Shoes was never at Country Club Centre. You are almost certainly remembering Kid-E-Corral which sold children's clothing and, yes, had a small merry-go-round kids could ride on.