Victoria shoppers don’t need to drive to Houston or San Antonio to snag great deals on the latest fashions. There are a bundle of diverse shops, boutiques and chain stores in their own back yard.
As the largest city in a seven-county region and located equidistant from Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, convenience and location have helped make Victoria the shopping oasis for the area.
“Victoria is a wonderful place to shop because the small-business retail stores are so diverse, with a variety of different types of merchandise,” says Pat McDonald, owner and manager of Days Gone Bye!, a gift shop and clothing store in Victoria’s historic downtown. “In addition to the smaller mom and pop stores, Victoria has the big box stores surrounding the Victoria Mall.”
Anchored by JCPenney, Dillard’s, Sears, Best Buy, Burke's Outlet, Bealls and the newly opened T.J.Maxx, Victoria Mall offers 80 popular retailers for shoppers craving national chain store merchandise. The property is one of 20 malls in eight states owned by Hull Storey Gibson Companies LLC, based in Augusta, GA.
“Victoria is an economic bright spot in our portfolio – it’s a great market, a great community and a great property for us,” says John Gibson, managing partner of Hull Story Gibson Companies. “We’re at 95 percent occupancy in the Victoria Mall, and by early 2013, we hope to be at 100 percent. We love going to Victoria, and we try to get there as often as possible.”
Gibson says Victoria’s vibrant downtown with its specialty retailers and restaurants is complementary to the mall, rather than competing with it.
“One of the beauties of Victoria is that its downtown is so wonderful – the courthouse is a jewel, and the city has done so much work to revitalize the area,” Gibson says. “We love going to downtown Victoria and to the mall. And we’ve noticed that when downtown does well, we also do well.”
McDonald opened Days Gone Bye! in 2006 with her husband Will in a restored 1947 drugstore. The couple chose the name because of their love for “the good old days, when everyone in the city knew you and your kids,” McDonald says.
The boutique is an inviting refuge from the outside world, with the soft scent of candles burning, 1920s music playing, and complimentary cookies, lemonade and coffee from Victoria Coffee Roasters.
Shoppers can browse an enticing collection of home decor, PANDORA jewelry, personalized luggage and totes, bath and body products, clothing and many more treasures McDonald brings to Victoria from retail markets in New York, Atlanta and Dallas.
MadiTay’s is another fun boutique that opened in Victoria in 2006. Owner Melissa Foeh named the store after her two daughters, Madison (Madi) and Taylor (Tay). The shop carries baby gifts, accessories, fashion jewelry, purses, rhinestone belts and headbands, decorative flip flops, rhinestone T-shirts, custom hair bows and monogrammed gifts, and everything can be gift wrapped for free.
“We offer many items you just can’t find anywhere else, and we pride ourselves in excellent service and going out of our way to make people happy,” Foeh says. “The thing I like most about doing business in Victoria is the support from the community. We have the best customers, and we do our best to make sure they know they’re appreciated. We hope that’s why they keep coming back.”
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