llinois-based department store chain Sears closed hundreds of stores before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.
None of its Hawaii stores were on the list – now, that’s changed.
Court filings note its Pearlridge Center, Ala Moana Center, Windward Mall, and the Prince Kuhio Plaza locations are among over 500 stores to be sold or auctioned off.
Honolulu-based bankruptcy attorney William Bullard says the sale means Sears is saying good-bye to those locations.
“If they can sell it. It will be an auction type sale I imagine. Not always is it sold. They just end up closing them. It would not continue on as a Sears. It would continue on as something else entirely,” said Bullard.
He says it’s what Sears has to do to survive.
“They have to cut the fat here and there and restructure everything, so they can continue their business. At least that’s what they’re attempting to do.”
Bullard cited internet shopping as a possible reason for Sears’ struggles.
“Amazon, the big gorilla in the room. You know? People turn to the internet now. And it’s so much cheaper than bricks and mortar. Especially here in Hawaii, everything
has to be shipped 3,000 miles,” explained Bullard.
He says this reminded him of when Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy before shutting down for good – and urged anyone with Sears gift cards to use them now.