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Sears to sell off most of its Hawaii stores

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The Sears store at Pearlridge Center in October.

Sears’ Hawaii stores are on the auction block.

Sears Holdings Corp. listed five Hawaii outlets — at Pearlridge Center, Windward Mall, Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo, an appliance store at Ala Moana Center and an outlet at the Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului — among 505 of the company’s most profitable locations to be sold or auctioned off as part of its bankruptcy, according to court documents.

The venerable department store chain, based in Illinois, has drastically reduced the number of stores even before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 15.

The company that owns Sears and Kmart announced earlier this year that it would shutter 142 stores by year’s end, adding to the closure previously announced of 46 unprofitable locations.

Sears, which started as a mail order catalog in the 1880s, began opening stores in 1925 and expanded quickly throughout the 1950s to 1970s. But the company has taken a substantial hit year after year as discount chains such as Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy, as well as online retailers, take a larger chunk of the market.

The Lihue Kmart shut down in early September, following the closure of a Kailua-Kona location in August. The last Kmart store on Oahu, a 135,000-square-foot location in Kapolei, closed in October 2017.

The court filings follow Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.

Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated a Sears outlet at the Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului is not on the list. It is among the stores being sold.
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