Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Vintage Postcards: Penney's Court - Sunvalley Mall in Concord

Sorry folks for slow postings. I'm spending more time AT malls than writing about them this month. Expect things to return to "normal" after the new year.
Here we have another beautiful postcard showing the JC Penney court in Sunvalley Mall.

Boy howdy do I remember those escalators. The handrails were grey with ridges. I don't know WHY I remember that, but I do. It wouldn't surprise me if they haven't replaced the handrail track, yet.

The classic "Penney's" logo displays, with its "P" in blue. That sign survived intact until the Nineties! Even Sears had updated their red classic-script sign by then.

On the lower level in this area was the food court, which was removed at some point. I'd love to find a photo of that, since it's just a blurry memory. It wouldn't surprise me if there is a postcard floating around with it (I'll keep my eyes peeled).

The back of the card reads "Over 120 stores are located on the two levels of the mammoth mall at SunValley, the world's largest enclosed, air-conditioned shopping center."

This is the first postcard I've seen that actually spells out Sunvalley as "SunValley" (capital S and V). Was the area previously known as "Sun Valley" (two words?). It's a mystery.

I'm always pleased to find a gem like this, but sometimes disappointed that two malls dominated the postcard market: Sunvalley and Eastridge. Of course, they were the "largest in the world" at one point, but there are plenty of other malls that would show well.


Read my guide to Sunvalley Mall

Visit the current Website.

See the aerial view.


Georob said...

In looking at the Anita store next to Penneys(I believe it was called "Anita Shops") I really got to thinking about the old low- mid priced apparel chains and how the lack of them really affects today's malls.

Just throwing out names here, but the market for stores like like Anita, Hartfields, Clothes Barn, Mode O Day, Judy's, etc. have been replaced in large part by Old Navy, Kohls, Dress Barn, and even Target; all of whom generally prefer strip mall venues because of their discount orgins. Even pricier names like Chico's and Jos. A Bank have elected to go that route depending on the location.

Of course, there's still Ann Taylor, Gap, Abercrombie, J Crew and the like. But you generally don't see those names in malls that aren't upscale. Which leaves places like Bayfair, Hilltop, and others stuck with sneaker, cell phone, and hip hop stores like "Rave". Old Navy and Kohls are eventually getting into those places, but I wonder just how much mall traffic they truly promote.

Department stores are to blame for this as well. Macys and JC Penney used to devote a lot more floor space to home furnishings, appliances, and other non-apparel goods; as did Emporium and Liberty House. But ever since Nordstrom came on the scene, department stores carry a much wider selection of clothing(especially malls that have TWO Macys) which has undoubtedly hurt small chains that don't have a very specialized or pricey niche.

Which may be why a store like Lane Bryant, who used to be in every mall have now started opening larger stores in strip centers.....
....."Super-sized stores for the super-- uh, I better stop before I get into trouble.

Kangoon said...

I love the old style Penny's sign!
Thanks for posting this picture.

Steven Swain said...

Gotta love this postcard (and the old Penneys logo)