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ALA MOANA CENTER (HawaiiNewsNow) - The sign on the door says "Buy what you need. Get what you want." But if you shop at Sears in the Ala Moana Center, those shopping days are numbered.
Mall owner General Growth Properties (GGP) is buying the store and ten other Sears outlets in nine states to recapture real estate.
"We made this acquisition because it was a strategic decision," said David Keating, GGP's vice president of corporate communications.
The price tag for the eleven stores is $270 million. The Ala Moana deal will be finalized in 45 to 60 days. Sears will keep the store open through 2012. General Growth says it will close in the early part of 2013.
"This is very stunning news," shopper Dan Chinn said.
"It's sad because it's been over 30 years that I know Sears has been here at Ala Moana Shopping Center," Becky Misiluti said.
Sears Ala Moana opened when the mall did in 1959.
Keating said a variety of tenants are interested in moving into the space, from big box stores to luxury retailers.
"This is a great opportunity to take them out and put in a whole bunch of new little stores. And for a landlord that's great, because the dollar per square foot that a small guy will pay is a lot bigger than a big department store," real estate analyst Stephany Sofos said.
"We're going to put retailers in there that our shoppers really want," Keating said.
A Sears spokesperson said the sale makes "good business sense." Overall, the company lost more than two billion dollars in the fourth quarter of last year.
Shoppers said they'll miss the old standby that's been an anchor tenant for 53 years.
"It's one of the few places that I can actually find clothes for older women," Bea Pacheco said..
"I would like to see somebody of the same consistency and broad based appeal of Sears," Chinn said.