Tom Thumb to Leave Highland Park Village

Photo: Highland Park Village

Photo: Highland Park Village

Tom Thumb plans to close its Highland Park Village store in the next 12 months, the grocery chain announced today.

“We have enjoyed being in Highland Park Village over the years, but the store is small and outmoded by today’s supermarket standards, with no opportunity for on-site expansion,” Tom Thumb president Paul McTavish said in a news release.

According to a timeline on the Highland Park Village website, the store opened in 1935 as a Safeway. As you may have heard this week, Safeway is in talks with potential buyers.

Those talks are not mentioned in today’s news release, which says the Highland Park Village store is only 18,500 square feet, while the average Tom Thumb is 46,000 square feet. The release also points out that there is a larger Tom Thumb about 1.5 miles to the northwest, at Inwood Road and University Boulevard.

Still, this news may crush Tom Thumb’s loyal customers in Highland Park. Last August, we reported that Sally Cullum Holmes, daughter and niece of the chain’s founders, still frequents the soon-to-be-shuttered store.

“That’s where I shop, and that’s where my pharmacy is,” Holmes said. “It’s small, but it’s a friendly place where you see everybody you know. So it still has that kind of hometown feeling.”

There was no word on what type of tenant Highland Park Village might pursue to replace Tom Thumb. Stephen Summers, the Village’s director of leasing, is in Europe and not available for comment. But the news release did include this statement from him:

“Tom Thumb has been an excellent tenant and great neighbor for us. We understand and respect their decision to leave Highland Park Village to better compete in this marketplace.”

By Dan Koller Feb. 21, 2014 | 4:10 pm | 25 Comments | Comments RSS
  • Eric

    Great place for a Trader Joe’s.

  • really

    So no gas stations in HP, down to one grocery store in HP and I think I am correct in saying that there are no churches in HP. But there is a liquor store, thank God.

  • Bill Wilson

    I doubt Tom Thumb voluntarily left one of their highest income customers locations … their prices were much higher than their other stores and their income statement would have reflected as such. Stephen Summers and Ray Washburne obviously got Tom Thumb to “voluntarily” leave in order to ensure there wouldn’t be an uproar. I’m sure they bought out their lease for a tidy sum to put in some Italian swimsuit shop.

    It must be nice marrying into a family and playing God for the park cities. Its very reassuring that the Hunt / Hill family can buy another house in Aspen. I’m worried that half of Highland Park will starve with their only grocery store shutting down.

  • REALLY?

    Whatever the reason that Tom thumb is leaving, does it really matter? Maybe it’s not as convenient to go to another store but too bad. Life isn’t fair, guys. Two rich guys own a shopping center so let them do whatever they want to with it. Let them play God of highland park village if that’s what they want. Vote with your wallet. Life isn’t fair. People die, rich people pay more taxes, Olympic figure skating is rigged, your kid has a 4.0 and didn’t get into Texas, my dog pooped in his kennel. Many things in life are unfair, a business making business decisions isn’t among them unless they are breaking the law and I don’t think Safeway or highland park village are breaking any laws. Put things in perspective.

  • Jen

    Sad to see Tom Thumb go. I feel like we’re losing a vital part of our community.

  • Yes Really

    That’s right, life is not fair and the commercial real estate folks seem to enjoy bringing up that point. How much freaking money do you need folks? Also, I’m sorry your dog poops in its kennel. Maybe you should walk it more often.

  • Sam Tamborello

    Hmm, wonder why those soft buttons on the HP Community League website do not work? Let’s get an idea who serve as officers. Too bad Williams Sonoma mysteriously left?

    Yes, the winds of change are here in Highland Park, Texas and some of you are too stupid to stop the commercialization of the town.

    As far as “REALLY?” above, you probably pooped in your pants too, hey?

  • Another Mother

    This doesn’t come as any huge surprise. I think the owners have been quite clear about their intentions for the Village. Expect Anthropologie will be next and others will follow. Look for that boutique hotel to come that they mentioned in the past. I don’t agree with everything that is going on up there but it’s not my decision and it remains to be seen if it will all be successful. Change is hard. Inwood Village and Preston Center still remain “normal” so that’s your alternative to the mall. I am not looking for a Rodeo Drive in Dallas but it is coming. That is the vision. As for the lights in the trees, which I think are stunning, I worry about the amount of electricity needed to keep them lit. I have arrived at Starbucks in the morning and the lights are still on! It just seems somewhat wasteful but again, not my decision.

  • Maggie

    I sure do miss the old HP Village.

  • The Chuckler

    Sam…..I am chuckling at how truly insane you really are.

  • Observer

    I have just about given up on grocery shopping there anyway because I can’t count on finding a parking place.

  • Neal

    This is the worst store in the Tom Thumb chain (Snider Plaza is a close second), yet maybe the most convenient. On balance, not a big loss. The upside is that parking might become slightly more tolerable unless Washburne and company lease the space to two more restaurants, which is not at all unlikely.

  • Beverly on a Budget

    Observer…. reserved parking at Tom Thumb is just one of many reasons I shop there. Unless it is two weeks before Christmas or 5PM on Sundays (when everyone goes to Mi Cocina) there are spots in front.
    This convenience means I can put a burger on the grill, realize we’re out of cheese, and go get some cheddar before the burger is medium rare.
    An after dinner walk may include a stop at Tom Thumb for some forgotten breakfast item or a sweet treat. Prescriptions can be picked up on the way home from the doctor along with the chicken soup we’ll be needing and most of all, I love that I don’t need hiking boots to get to the milk section.
    But since life isn’t fair and Ray should be able to do what he chooses, I’ll be looking for a parking spot at Simon David – while my burger burns up.

  • Texas Slim

    It will be sad for me to see this store go. It is so conveniently located. It seems the new owners of HPV are intent on developing Rodeo Drive right here in out little enclave.

  • Texas Slim

    Correction:

    It seems the new owners of HPV are intent on developing Rodeo Drive right here in our little enclave.

  • Sam Tamborello

    Yes “The Chuckler”…. and I’m chuckling more about what a little coward you are in the community.

    What’s insane is….. folks running and governing Highland Park who can not spot mosquito larvae growing and swimming in a childrens water fountain bowl in Abbott Park. And then get paid by the taxpayers…now thats crazy.

    I’m sending my resume over asap.

  • Java Jambalaya

    Please move Starbucks into a larger space so I can find a dang seat.

  • http://Beecherldennis73@gmail.com Dennis Beecherl

    I sure Do miss the highland park village

  • 1st anon

    No one has said that a grocery store is leaving. It says that the Tom Thumb brand is leaving. I wouldn’t yet jump to conclusions that the cheese is moving.

  • Deb

    @ 1st anon:

    Wrong. “Krieger said Tom Thumb officials reached an agreement with the Village several years ago to prevent a competitor from opening in the same location after the store closes. A grocery store could move into another Village location, but space is very limited.

    “There’s no possibility for an immediate replacement, at least on that site,” Krieger said. “I imagine this will cause some skepticism among neighbors who are concerned about the loss of a supermarket.”

    http://www.parkcitiespeople.com/2014/02/25/what-does-the-future-hold-for-highland-park-village/#more-38189

  • 1st anon

    @Deb … You quote a Boston-based consultant. What he says doesn’t make sense. If Tom Thumb (Safeway) truly voluntarily left, then such a clause would likely not kick in. Maybe they reached an agreement several years ago, but all agreements can be circumvented with the right incentive.

  • Deb

    @ 1st anon:
    Obviously, everyone here is guessing based on the information available. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if a lucrative lease buyout included T&C barring competitors. HPV will probably fill the space with luxury retail or another high end restaurant. I don’t see another grocery store moving in given the group’s significant real estate investment and recent tenant additions.

  • John

    Please do not close the UPS Store. Let there be services on the property.

  • CG

    Guys, Are you kidding me? No churches in HP? There are more churches around HP Village and “our” area than anywhere ever.

    HPUMC, HPPC, HP Presby. St. Michaels Epsicopal, UP Methodist, PC Baptist Church, Christ the KIng Cath. on Preston Rd. by Preston Center, Dallas Bible Church at NWHY and Tollroad, Church of Christ Preston and Univ., … all within 2 square miles of HP Village. We all go to church, even the owners. We love money, but we love God most of all. Try to be a little more understanding, please.

    HP resident for 40 years.

  • Diana

    How much money will you HP residents be able to fit into your casket ? Materialism alive and well , meanwhile teachers are under payed , disrespected and not valued at all. Instead we pay celebrities like gwyneth paltrow , And open pop up goop stores. The have and the have nots. Children in oak cliff going hungry and no hope for a HPISD education.

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