Sears sale means big changes for Ala Moana - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sears sale means big changes for Ala Moana

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By Howard Dicus

HONOLULU and CHICAGO (HawaiiNewsNow) – Sears Corp. confirms its deal to sell 11 stores to General Growth Properties includes the Sears store at Ala Moana Center.

General Growth Properties is the nation's second largest owner of malls. In Hawaii, it owns Ala Moana Center and Hilo's Prince Kuhio Plaza.

Sears has been an anchor store tenant of Ala Moana Center, the state's biggest mall, since it opened in 1959.

The 11-store sale was announced after Sears reported losing billions of dollars in the fourth quarter, mainly because of one-time charges. Sales have been eroding at Sears for years.

The company CEO said he was "unlocking" the value of Sears real estate.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Hawaii sale was by far the biggest element of the deal, comprising from $200 million to $250 million of the $270 million deal.

Pacific Business News reported that General Growth could make more rent on the space by tearing down the Sears store and replacing it with a number of smaller retailers.

Several retailers currently operating on the ewa side of the mall, including Zippy's, Ba-Le and a tuxedo shop, are actually subleasing their space from Sears.

It is expected that the Sears store will not be closed until next year.

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