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Ala Moana Center's Owner Acquiring Sears

By Jodi Leong
Published On: Feb 23 2012 05:22:21 AM HST
Updated On: Feb 23 2012 07:08:23 AM HST
HONOLULU -

Sears is selling its Ala Moana Center store to the shopping mall's owner, General Growth Properties.

Sears was one of the original tenants when Ala Moana Center opened in 1959.

In recent years, the department store has struggled, reporting a fourth-quarter net loss of $2.4 billion.

The sale makes good business sense, Sears said Thursday.

It is selling 11 stores in nine states to General Growth for $270 million.

General Growth owns Ala Moana Center -- a total of 169 shopping malls in 43 states.

Sears said the closure dates for the 11 stores will not be determined until later this year and the closures will not begin until 2013.

News of the sale and impending closure received mixed reaction from customers.

"It's very sad. It's a staple, it's an icon. It's the default for like when you don't know exactly where you need to go for it, usually you go to Sears and they got what you need," said Sears customer, Flash Hansen.

"It's been around for a long time. As long as I was little, I shopped at Sears. So it's just really sad that it's going to go," said Sierra Hanneman, also a Sears customer.

"Sears is really outdated right now. I think that it's time has come just like JC Penneys had its time, but times change. So I think it might be a good thing. It depends on who takes over," said Sears customer Gary Batungbacal.

"This is an important acquisition, an opportunity to recapture some valuable property to continue providing the best in retail and entertainment," said David Keating, Vice President of Corporate Communications, General Growth Properties.

Keating would not say what the company has in mind for the prime parcel, only that there is great interest from retailers across the board.

The sale between Sears and General Growth is expected to close in the next 45 to 60 days.

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