Updated: October 5, 2022
After much speculation, the Sears Maui store is officially scheduled to close on Nov. 14, 2021, company officials tell Maui Now.
This week signs went up on the entrance doors, signaling an impending closure with messages indicating there is a store closing sale in process and “Everything Must Go.”
Transformco, the parent company of Sears plans to close the Kahului-Maui location in order to “redevelop and reinvigorate the property,” according to a corporate communications director Larry Costello, with Transformco, which includes Sears, Kmart, and Kenmore.
The parent company of Sears filed for bankruptcy in 2018; and early this year, Forbes reported that two Hawaiʻi stores–in ʻAiea on Oʻahu, and Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island–were added to a list of locations slated to close.
That left Maui as the lone full-line Sears store in the islands, with a full range of services that included auto, parts service repair, appliance, portrait, apparel, fitness, shoes, and jewelry.
There is still a Sears Hale Hana Center in Kailua Kona, Hawaiʻi that operates as a small format Hometown store with just a handful of employees. That store is limited to appliances, some lawn and garden equipment, Craftsman tools, grills and vacuum cleaners. Another small format store, Sears Appliance and Mattress, is listed on the company website for 1455 Ala Moana Blvd. in Honolulu on Oʻahu.
The 86,861 square foot Maui space, located at the East end of the mall, is listed for lease by JLL, which touts the spot as an “extremely rare opportunity,” in an “exceptional trade area” of Maui. Maui Now reached out to the brokerage lead, but did not receive a response at the time of this posting. According to the listing, the lot was built in 1972.
With only two department stores on island, this leaves Macy’s as the lone anchor tenant at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center, with a Mens/Home store occupying the South wing, and a Women’s store located at the West wing. The center, which is coming up on its 50th anniversary next year, also features national brands that include Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.
In November 2020, US Bank, on behalf of holders of commercial mortgage-backed securities, filed for foreclosure on the mall, claiming the owner defaulted on a $88.5 million loan.
In explaining the Maui store closure, Transformco representatives said, “This is part of the company’s strategy to unlock the value of the real estate and pursue the highest and best use for the benefit of the local community.”
Details of the redevelopment will be announced as plans are finalized, but the goal, according to Transformco is to “maximize the value of the real estate while enhancing the consumer experience with popular retailers that serve the evolving needs of the community.”
“With redevelopment of this location focused primarily on retail use, we intend to reinvigorate and maximize the value of the real estate while enhancing the consumer experience with popular retailers that meet the evolving needs of Kahului-Maui,” said Scott Carr, president of Real Estate for Transformco.