December 25, 2005
So long, Foley's

Yesterday was your last chance to shop at Foley's.

The fact that Foley's will become Macy's in the fall of next year means little to some people. Others might even welcome it, being able to shop in familiar stores with a new name and perhaps a different personality.

But to vast numbers of people with deep Houston roots, Foley's and holiday shopping are almost synonymous. Residents of the city and surrounding towns have special memories of driving downtown to see the Foley's Christmas window displays and entering the store to join the hustle and bustle.

"Anyone who lived here had to shop at Foley's," said Martin Kaplan, whose own family department store, Kaplan's Ben-Hur, will soon close after 92 years.

"In a sense, it's hard to imagine Houston without Foley's. Foley's has been Houston for so long."

For many locals, seeing the Foley's name fade from the holidays brings on a touch of melancholy.

"Foley's is a huge name, and you're going to see a lot of people who are sad about it," said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a national retail consulting and investment banking firm in New York.

"There are people who are loyal to Foley's. A lot of people had wonderful experiences."

I'm not much of a department store shopper, so this doesn't really affect me one way or the other. I'm just always sad to see a piece of Houston's history vanish. So long, Foley's. We'll miss you.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 25, 2005 to Bidness | TrackBack

I was a big Macy's fan in California. Foley's really filled that gap for me when we moved here and I wanted to go shopping in a Macy's-type store but couldn't get to the Galleria. Even when I do go to the Galleria, I'm more apt to go to Foley's than Macy's, simply because it's easier to get to.

I probably won't notice the change much, but I respect what the name Foley's means to Houstonians. There's a department store in my hometown in Pennsylvania that, if it were to close or change names, would make it seem very strange whenever I went back to see the family.

Posted by: Sue on December 25, 2005 8:47 AM

It makes me sad. I'm hardly much of a shopper but I have fond memories of the downtown store. Although all the department stores apparently sell the same stuff anyway so I guess they may as well have the same name.

Posted by: bill on December 26, 2005 8:30 PM

We went through much the same thing when Seattle's Bon Marche became Macys. Unfortunately, the "real" Seattle Christmas store, Frederick & Nelson, sank like a stone about 10 years ago.

Posted by: Brenda Helverson on December 27, 2005 7:45 AM