Record rainfall and flash flooding in the Houston area are impacting retailers, including some that have decided not to open their stores today, while others were experiencing delays on deliveries.
Saks Fifth Avenue said it would not open its Houston Galleria store today due to concerns about employees encountering hazardous conditions on the roads. There were reports of floods stranding people in the Houston Galleria on Memorial Day, but a Saks spokeswoman said it was too early to assess if there was any damage to the Saks store.
A spokesman for the Houston Galleria, which is owned and operated by Simon Property Group, said, “We are monitoring the situation. Our main property is the Houston Galleria.”
There were reports on local television news channels about mall employees being stranded inside the mall. The first floor of the parking garage was said to be flooded and water levels left cars almost submerged on surrounding streets. As far as people spending the night in the mall, the spokesman said, “There were erroneous reports that some people sheltered there overnight, but our security director has said this morning it is not true.”
The Galleria will open at noon today.
A spokesman for J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said all of Penney’s Houston area stores were opened by the afternoon.
Macy’s said Tuesday morning that it planned to open its 16 stores in the Houston area on Tuesday, but was experiencing furniture delivery delays due to road conditions. “We may choose to delay openings,” said Macy’s corporate spokesman Jim Sluzewski. Macy’s was scheduled to open its stores at 10 a.m.
“While we do have stores in the Houston area, we fortunately do not have any reports of damage,” said a Target spokeswoman. “All stores are open and operational.”
At Memorial City Mall in Houston, a mall employee said that “some stores may not be open due to employees being unable to get to the mall.” The center, which is anchored by Sears, Target, J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Dillard’s, experienced “flooding around the mall last night, but they got rid of it,” she said.
Deerbrook Mall in Humble, Tex., was open for normal business on Tuesday. “We’re in great shape — a few leaks here and there,” said Harry Hadland, general manager. “We’re on the west side of downtown. Our drainage around the mall is pretty good. We didn’t experience any major problems. It’s messy — the mulch and landscaping. But we’re open. The storms came through very late yesterday.”
Also unscathed were Houston Premium Outlets in Cypress, Tex., and the Willowbrook Mall in Houston. “There are no floods here,” said a guest services associate. “The sun is out shining bright.”
But flood watches and warnings were in effect Tuesday morning in parts of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Mississippi, and meteorologists warned that about 32 million people in the Plains and the South were at risk from dangerous thunderstorms. — With contributions from David Moin